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Sheffield University law society defends Christmas ball venue — after vegan students complain it overlooks dog track

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Animal-loving LLBers aren’t happy

The University of Sheffield law society has defended its decision to hold its Christmas ball next to a dog racing track.

Animal-loving students have hit out at the choice of venue, overlooking the Owlerton greyhound race track, saying that it is linked to the abuse of animals.

The Edward Bramley law society says that it is “deeply regretful” that unhappy students felt their concerns weren’t properly addressed, but won’t be changing tack.

The Ed Bram’s annual Christmas Masquerade Ball is booked for 28 November at the OEC, a swanky new events and conference centre in Sheffield. The venue is so cutting-edge that it doesn’t even open for another week.

One of the OEC’s attractions is that it overlooks the adjacent Owlerton stadium. The venue’s hospitality boxes, according to the OEC website, offer “unparalleled, panoramic views of the racetrack”.


Satellite image showing the close proximity between the OEC and the dog track (credit: Google)

Both the OEC and Owlerton Stadium are owned by parent company A&S Leisure Group.

Sheffield students have reportedly taken umbrage at what they consider the law society’s unethical choice of venue. One told The Tab that “myself and many other students are outraged at their decision to host the ball at a place that profits from animal abuse”.

While another accused the society of “prioritising a student societies [sic] profit over being transparent and fair to vegan members”.

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Three hundred and seventy racing greyhounds were “put to sleep” in 2017 due to medical treatment being too expensive. Earlier this year, the government announced that bookies had agreed to spend £3 million on a scheme to improve the animals’ welfare.

In a detailed statement circulated on 3 November, the Ed Bram said that “we have been made aware of the ethical concerns of our members surrounding our decision to host the Winter Ball at the new OEC venue in Sheffield. We were unaware of any connection the owner of the OEC has to Owlerton Stadium prior to these concerns being raised”.

The society added that it appreciated member concerns over animal welfare, but said that it had received assurances that there is “no maltreatment of animals”. It promised to send a copy of the race track’s welfare policy to concerned members, and is meeting with one individual this morning.

While the committee said it was “deeply regretful that some members feel we haven’t responded to their concerns adequately”, it would still be holding the event — which is sponsored by City megafirm CMS — at the OEC, with the backing of Sheffield Students’ Union.

Approached for comment by Legal Cheek, a spokesperson for the Ed Bram referred us to this statement, adding that “We have offered to provide further statements made by the venue on this matter to any concerned members. As soon as the initial complaint came to light, the president made themselves available to meet with the concerned members should they wish to”.

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28 Comments

Woof

I want that dog! So cute!

Woof woof!

Anonymous

I ate dog on a trip to Korea.

It did not taste like chicken.

Anonymous

I ate a dog and I wasn’t even on a trip to Korea.

It looked at me funny so I asserted my biological superiority.

Kirkland NQ

“City megafirm CMS”

ROFL!!!!!

Sheff uni alum and boss man associate

This is all kinds of stupid, from both sides.

Anonymous

Could say the same about you mate

Normal millennium

People are too sensitive and bring up stupid stuff? It’s not like he venue owns the dog trAck, it’s just a damn location

Lesley

If you read carefully the article states that yhe OEC is owned by the same company. Indeed the OEC was built after the old stand and bar were demolished, it sits on the first bend where the majority of dog injuries and deaths take place.

Née Whippet

I identify as a Sheffield Race Dog. Indeed my maiden name is Whippet.

I am offended.

anonymous

Utterly ridiculous. It’s hypersensitive muppets like these that give the younger generation a bad name.

If that dog turns out to be gender neutral, what’s the pronoun btw?

Anonymous

Get a friggin life.

Is it a sign of getting old when your first thought is “kids these days…” or am I justified in this response. Answers on a postcard please.

Many of the same students probably signed up to the Stop the West Coalition at the freshers fair – which is more offensive?

Easily Offended Vegan

OK boomer

Anonymous

Snowflakes. Got to love them. And then laugh at how much housing will cost them. And how crap their pensions will be.

Anonymous

I don’t trust vegans. Lawsuits waiting to happen. They get offended by anything.

Easily Offended Vegan

OK boomer

Gary

People go there to watch the dogs race, not to eat the dogs. Typical lefty liberal w@nk.

Mila

Nothing to do with politics, I don’t want to see a dog killed or injured.

Anon

Lol why would a dog be killed or injured there? It’s not jump racing with horses ffs. Struggling not to call you an idiot

Alan Robertshaw

Lots of injuries and deaths in greyhound racing.

A couple of overviews for you:

https://www.cagednw.co.uk/greyhoundinjuries.html

https://www.grey2kusa.org/about/injuries.php

Now as those article are from animal rights organisations, you could accuse them of bias, so here’s some papers from regular veterinary studies. They’re behind a paywall but you can get a free trial.

https://www.vetstream.com/treat/canis/freeform/greyhound-racing-injuries-overview

Alan

That headline is a bit misleading. it seems the complaint is *not* of the view; rather that the venue ultimately belongs to a company that profits from dog racing. Dog racing is something that many people within the animal rights community have an issue with.

As veganism is almost certainly a protected belief, and concern for animal welfare has been held to be (Hashman v Milton Park (Dorset) Ltd t/a Orchard Park); you could possibly cobble together some sort of tenuous EA2010 claim.

Anonymous

Or you could just leave it and be normal, obviously.

A lawyer

Tenuous at best, such a claim would, in my view, be struck out for lack of prospect of success. Please don’t encourage such pointless litigation, haven’t you got exams to prepare for or something?

Top. Top. Titan.

Anyone who has trained at CMS is second rate, wherever they may be now.

Burger King

I hope they serve everyone burgers.

CMS Training Contract Offer Holder

I am delighted to announce that following a gruelling 2 week vacation scheme, I have been offered a training contract by a top top city law firm CMS.

I look forward to the excellent work life balance, flexible working, incredible diversity and promotion opportunities offered by the firm. I also look forward to working on incredible cross-border deals alongside my colleagues in other city firms like Freshfields and Slaughter and May.

Lawyer, taxpayer and all-round normal person

Some students really do the image of students no favours.

This is the sort of story that makes the rest of the population roll their eyes, think that plenty of universities should be shut down and that student fees are a good thing.

Rover

No. It will be hot dogs…

Scep Tick

Do they think the greyhounds run after a REAL hare?

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