Harry potter star Miriam Margolyes has joined animal rights organisation PETA’s campaign urging Oxford Stadium not to re-open for greyhound racing, condemning the sport.

The actor who grew up in Oxford said: "I have many fond memories of growing up in Oxford, but they don’t involve watching gentle and sociable greyhounds run around a track for punters."

She has said that sport is 'animal abuse' and called it 'nasty'.

A recent report released by the Greyhound Board of Great Britain (GBGB) revealed that more than 400 racing greyhounds died or were euthanised in 2020, despite Covid-19 restrictions that drastically reduced the number of races.

Kevin Boothby, Promoter at Oxford Stadium, said: "The allegations against our sport by animal extremists PETA are entirely unfounded and show they are totally out of touch with the reality of our sport."

Mr Boothby said that the dogs are loved and are cared for before, during and after their racing careers.

He also said that their dogs receive better care than domestic pet dogs.

Oxford Mail readers had mixed opinions on the star and her opinions of greyhound racing.

Some readers believe racing is 'cruel' and others say times have changed.

This is what our readers said about greyhound racing at Oxford Stadium:

Marbella Chris: "She knows nothing about greyhound welfare, times have changed massively the sooner Oxford opens the better."

Joanna Ward: "I think the problem arises when the dogs are retired or are not particularly good.

"It should be mandatory that trainers/owners should be held responsible for the dogs when they retire and not just thrown on the scrap heap.

"There are already lots of ex race dogs needing to be rehomed."

Alex Nicolaou: "Why don't they turn it into an oval dirt race track? It is much more fun and will attract crowds of a broader age group...like... under 70 year olds."

Aaron Marsh: "Won't someone think of the poor motorcycles."

Pat Cross: "I Hate greyhound racing and horse racing both cruel."

Glyn Saville: "She has no clue what she is talking about."

Kay Möller: "She's quite right. What people do not see are the animals who are bred for racing but don't make the grade, or the ones who are discarded as they get older and are no longer making money for the industry.

"Yes, the ones who are currently racing are treated very well - why wouldn't they be, when they are generating lots of cash? - but they are the tip of the iceberg.

"Spare a thought for all the rejects, who don't fare so well. (I worked in animal welfare for a number of years.)"

Sarah Williams: "Nasty? The dogs are cared for, better than most living in homes with families

And they are not 'forced' to run.

"It is the same with horses, ever tried to make a horse race?"

Susan Hale Leake: "Only until they stop racing.

"They are long-lived dogs and only race for about four years.

"I have had six ex-racers over the years, two at a time.

"The last two were with me until they were 14 and 15 respectively.

"Their trainer loved her dogs and kept non-racers when the owners lost interest and stopped paying kennel fees.

"She worked hard to find good homes for them or took them home herself. She was in the minority."

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