Oxford greyhound stadium withdraws Blue Cross invite

A greyhound racing stadium said it has withdrawn an open invitation to an animal welfare charity to visit after receiving no response.

Oxford Stadium managing director Kevin Boothby invited Blue Cross during a live BBC Radio Oxford interview.

The charity said it had yet to visit because the stadium had not disclosed requested data about dog injuries.

But the stadium said the charity had "refused to engage" despite repeated attempts on its part.

The two sides met on a local radio feature last September, with a Blue Cross representative agreeing to open a dialogue.

But in a new statement, Blue Cross chief executive Chris Burghes said the visit was "on the condition they share data on how many dogs have been injured or lost their life at the facility in the past year.

"Despite agreeing to share this information ahead of our visit, so far, they've failed to disclose it."


Mr Burghes said that by withdrawing its offer, the stadium had "wasted everyone's time, effort, and resources".

However, Blue Cross remained open to the meeting if the stadium could uphold its "promise", he added.

"We'll never stop advocating for our pets and this includes a call to end greyhound racing for good," he said.

In response, stadium spokesman Shaun Reynolds said it was "frustrating" that it had hit a "dead end".

He said: "It's not a question of us not wanting to hand it over. If we had a date organised for next month, sure, we'd hand it over, absolutely no problem at all.

"We have an open invitation policy and anyone who's got a concern about greyhound racing welfare... they're welcome to come down to the stadium."

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