PROTESTERS staged a demonstration outside Leigh Animal Sanctuary where staff have been accused of offering to kill healthy dogs.

More than 100 animal rights campaigners gathered at the sanctuary alongside the East Lancashire Road at the Greyhound Island which has been accused of putting down hundreds of ex-race track runners every year.

The allegations appeared in a report by the Sunday Times, which alleged that a worker had offered to destroy two healthy young greyhounds by lethal injection for £35 each.

Linda Buxton, who runs the sanctuary, hit back with claims last week that the families of workers at the centre had been subjected to threats by animal rights exrtremists.

Catherine Moore, who acted as a spokesman for those who took part in Saturday's demonstration, said: "We are here today to raise two issues.

"We are concerned that sanctuaries are taking on more animals than they can possibly care for.

"There are also a lot of people here today who are worried about reports of staff at this sanctuary offering to kill two healthy dogs.

"These dogs are being bred for entertainment and when their owners have decided that they are useless, they just dispose of them.

"We're not here to threaten anybody or force anybody out of business; we just want to see an improvement in working practices."

Protesters gathered close to the entrance to the sanctuary with banners and placards on Saturday morning and some drivers passing sounded their horns in support of the demonstration.

A spokesman for the sanctuary said it would not be issuing a comment in response to the demonstration.