All the news from the SAGE team
What a year 2019 was!!! Between SAGE being founded in April 2019 to now the SAGE team has not stopped. And we won't be stopping any time soon!
Although SAGE as an organisation is the new kid on the block as far as the anti racing movement is concerned, we've been standing outside Shawfield Greyhound Stadium on Saturday nights for coming on 3 years now. During that time we've noticed a huge decline in attendance.
When we first started out doing the protests we regularly encountered coach loads of punters. The car park at the stadium was almost full every week. Racing was held on Friday evenings as well as Saturdays. We ran out of leaflets. We got a huge amount of abuse.
29th April 2017 - first Shawfield Demo
Fast forward to 2020 and less people than ever are having a "night at the dogs".
We knew numbers were dropping over the past 3 years but we didn't have evidence. Maybe less people were using the car park? Or coaches were somehow getting past us unnoticed? So in October 2019 we decided to start counting the number of attendees each Saturday.
The numbers fluctuate but have consistently been way under 200, sometimes under 100. And for a stadium with capacity for 4000 that's pretty poor!
To add to that, in August 2019 Shawfield announced that Friday race meets were cancelled for the foreseeable future. So that means one GBGB stadium left in Scotland, one race night a week!
Of course it's impossible to tell what impact SAGE and the Shawfield Demo has had on this. We like to think we have changed some attitudes over the past 3 years, but either way the important thing is that less and less people are going to watch greyhounds risking their lives in the guise of entertainment.
But it's not all about the weekly demo!
Although the demo is our main regular activity (and we thank everyone who comes along to join us), the SAGE team is constantly busy pursuing other ways of bringing about an end to greyhound racing in Scotland.
What's next for SAGE?
Well, we regularly attend the Cross Party Animal Welfare Group at the Scottish Parliament and will be doing a presentation at the next meeting in March 2020. We are also waiting to give evidence to the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee on the back of the hugely successful petition we lodged with the Scottish Parliament last year.
We are travelling back to Nottingham to support our comrades south of the border at the English Derby and we're heading back to Dublin for the Irish Derby. We feel it is important that all of the anti racing groups and advocates work together. Our combined efforts are more far more powerful!
We will be doing more events and demonstrations throughout the year and will share the details on our facebook page, so keep your eyes peeled!