Paschal Taggart has clearly realised his original plan would not gain enough support. He already publicly stated that he is not going to make any money out of this track redevelopment and also that the closure of the Wimbledon track would adversely impact the demand for Irish greyhound in the UK. I fail to see why Wimbledon residents and greyhounds should support his Irish business interests ahead of those of a local football club?

He is now trying to obfuscate these issues of economic viability and his business self-interest by offering inducements to local residents.  I am disappointed that a resident (New plans for stadium are better for the community, October 30) seems to more concerned with parking and pollution than with the suffering, exploitation and death of thousands of greyhounds.  I hope they not speak for the local community as a whole.  However even if some local residents do not care about the cruelty issue, the fact remains that public opinion is turning against this industry, it is quite rightly in decline so it would be foolhardy from an economic perspective to invest in this redevelopment. 

I am glad that your recent poll which resulted in only 39% support for Taggart’s plans was not only restricted to local residents. Whether Wimbledon remains a greyhound racing track or not has a significant effect on the viability of the industry throughout the country and dogs who race and suffer at Wimbledon also race and suffer elsewhere.

This week, the League Against Cruel Sports and GREY2K USA Worldwide released a new report and petition calling for major reform of Britain’s greyhound racing industry to stop thousands of dogs being needlessly killed.  Personally I believe the industry has failed to self-regulate for long enough; the so-called "sport" should be phased-out responsibly, track by track starting with Wimbledon, to ensure replacement employment opportunities, better use of the stadia and gradual reduction in the number of greyhounds bred.

L Slade

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