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Last Updated: Sunday, 16 July 2006, 14:44 GMT 15:44 UK
Call for greyhound deaths inquiry
An MP has called for an inquiry into greyhounds' fates when their racing days are over after claims thousands have been killed in County Durham.

A Sunday Times investigation claims builders' merchant David Smith, of Seaham, County Durham, has killed and buried 10,000 animals over 15 years.

MP Eric Martlew said he would call for an urgent probe.

A woman at the Seaham house said the story had been blown out of proportion and they were considering legal action.

'Industry in denial'

The government said it would be interested in seeing the evidence.

Carlisle MP Mr Martlew said the Associate Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare would hold a meeting about the case on Monday.

He said: For a long time now people have thought this kind of thing has been going on but without any evidence.

"I think the industry is in denial about it."

Mr Martlew said despite the good work of charities who work to re-home greyhounds, the problem of healthy dogs being killed has been a concern for animal welfare groups for many years.

The Sunday Times said it covertly filmed greyhounds being received, killed with a bolt gun and then buried.

Under current law, no licence is needed to put down animals with a bolt gun. Animals must be put down in a humane way.

Animal health and welfare minister Ben Bradshaw said: "We would welcome the chance to look at the evidence gathered in this case."




SEE ALSO
Greyhound retirement home opens
21 Dec 05 |  England
Dog track helps greyhound rescue
03 May 05 |  South West Wales

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