ANIMAL rights protesters are calling for Hove’s greyhound stadium to be closed.

A handful of demonstrators staged a protest outside the Nevill Road stadium yesterday accusing the racing industry of animal cruelty.

The campaigners heralded the closure of London’s last remaining dogs tracks Walthamstow and Wimbledon a victory and said they hoped Hove would be next.

Sarah Whitehead, of the Campaign Against Brighton and Hove Greyhound Stadium who organised the protest said: “Dogs die on these tracks.

“Hove track has injuries - we had one just the other week .

“10,000 dogs a year go onto the tracks across England.

“These dogs are only bred for racing, it’s a blood sport and the whole thing is based on money.

“Most people just don’t realise the cruelty.

“People say to us ‘ i really didn’t realise’.

“Many of the people going in are a lost cause, but it’s important that the wider public know the kind of animal cruelty going on here.

“There are people who adopt retuiired greyhounds - but that only happens to about one in 10,000 dogs. “All of the tracks in London have closed, we are hoping we can make Hove the next one. “We want to raise awareness.

“Many of the dogs are kept in kennels 23 hours a day.

“The ones that are injured are euthanised. “You see them bring the dogs out and shove them in the back of cars.”

Fellow animal rights campaigner Sue Baumgardt said: “People don’t see what’s behind the scenes, they think it’s a nice day out. The advertise as family events, but this is a gambling and drinking establishment where animals are suffering. I don’t think that’s very family friendly.”

Denise Friend added: “A lot of the people going to these events are on stag and hen parties.

“They say they would never normally go to these kind of events.”

Sussex Police attended the demonstration but no arrests were made and no disturbance was reported.

A representative from the stadium said that whilst they disagreed that animals were treated cruelly they did not wish to comment.

A report into greyhound racing published last month found that dogs were more likely to injure themselves on curved tracks than racing in straight lines - and recommended no more than six dogs should compete in each race.

The Greyhound Forum, which represents eight major dog charities, estimates that 3,700 of a total 9,000 retired greyhounds are ‘unaccounted for’ every year.

Hove dogs track opened in 1928. The stadium has a capacity for 2,200 people and also hosts function and charity events.