By Steve Wiseman

A Day At The Races, with timeless songs like “Tie Your Mother Down,” “Somebody To Love” and “Good Old-Fashioned Lover Boy,” is one of Queen’s greatest albums. But guitarist Brian May doesn’t actually spend any days at the races — at least not greyhound races.

May, a noted animal rights champion, paid a surprise visit to the Lonesome Primary School in Mitcham, England, last week to talk to students about treating animals in a humane way.

He told students at the school that he would love to see Wimbledon Stadium, the home of greyhound racing in England, shut down. According to The Wimbledon Guardian, he said  “I wouldn’t be sorry to see it go. I know the animals are treated badly. I’ve seen so many animals who are rescued from greyhound racing who are about to be slung out or destroyed. I’ve seen too much cruelty associated with greyhound racing and horse racing and I would not be sad to see it go. Let’s bet on people running. There’s no need to force animals to do this stuff and push them beyond their physical endurance limits.”

“To me that’s all the dark ages. I’d like to see the end of it. You can bet on buses but you don’t have to torture animals in order to get a thrill from betting.”

May paid a surprise visit to the school to discuss ways of dealing with an ongoing problem of foxes coming into school grounds. After parents saw their children’s clothes had fox droppings on them, a pest control company offered to cull the foxes. But instead the school contacted May, who explained to children that foxes are good for the environment and can be deterred by not discarding litter and food around the grounds.

How did May end up speaking at the school?  One of the school’s administrators is Michael O’Neill, who is married to Gillian, the sister of May’s wife and former Eastenders actress, Anita Dobson.

— Brian Ives, CBS Local


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