Campaigners trying to end dog racing in Hove are taking their case to Brighton and Hove City Council.

Almost 7,000 people have signed a petition calling on the council to end greyhound racing at the Coral stadium, in Nevill Road, Hove.

The petition is due to be presented to a meeting of the full council next Thursday (17 December) by campaigner Sarah Whitehead.

She said: “We are asking Brighton and Hove City Council to revoke the licence of Coral Greyhound Stadium and put an end to the cruelty of greyhound racing in this constituency.

“Every week at least two dogs fall, are injured or die at this stadium.

“Ten thousand dogs are removed from the racing circuit every year as more dogs are bred for this industry.

“The dogs may be exported abroad to countries like China for breeding and racing, killed as surplus to requirements or languish in isolation in kennels for the rest of their lives.

“All London tracks have closed. Let Brighton and Hove be the next.

“The land in Nevill Road could be used for much-needed affordable housing.

“If this track is not closed, dogs will continue to be forced to race, exploited and abused.

The Argus:

“Please help us to end their suffering.”

Ms Whitehead, who said that she had campaigned to end dog racing in Hove since the 1980s, hopes that the petition will at least raise more awareness locally about the track.

She said that many people were not aware of the track, which is next to the Hove branch of Waitrose.

But Coral owns the land and the council said: “The petition’s request does not fall directly within the council’s responsibilities and therefore can only be referred to the owners of the greyhound stadium.”

Ms Whitehead said that she hoped that bringing the campaign’s case before the council would encourage opposition.

She said that she was concerned not just about anima welfare but children going to the race track and experiencing a gambling lifestyle.

She said: “Why get children involved as gambling wrecks families? During one of our protests, a punter shouted they were raising money for Save the Children but after contacting them they said they would never endorse gambling.”

Dog racing has declined in recent years from 77 tracks licensed by the sport’s governing body in the 1940s to 19 today.

Ms Whitehead said that she had noted falling attendances over the years and hoped that dog racing’s days were numbered.

The petition is due to go before the full council at a virtual meeting due to start at 4.30pm on Thursday. The meeting is scheduled to be webcast on the council website.