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Greyhound activist responds to apology of city councillor over rabies remark

PUBLISHED: 09:03 15 March 2018 | UPDATED: 09:16 15 March 2018

Sally Button, Labour candidate for Bowthorpe in Norwich City Council elections 2016. Pic: Submiited

Sally Button, Labour candidate for Bowthorpe in Norwich City Council elections 2016. Pic: Submiited

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A greyhound activist has responded to the apology issued by a Norwich City councillor for a rabies remark, claiming she has had no direct contact from the councillor.

Greyhound activist Kerry Elliman with one of her dogs. Picture: Kerry EllimanGreyhound activist Kerry Elliman with one of her dogs. Picture: Kerry Elliman

Labour councillor Sally Button has received a wave of criticism after making a comment about Kerry Elliman, founder of Birmingham Greyhound Protection.

Ms Button, a supporter of greyhound racing, which Ms Elliman campaigns against, commented on a post referencing Ms Elliman having been bitten by a dog.

She wrote: “Maybe she will get rabies.”

Ms Button, who is city councillor for the Bowthorpe ward, has since made a public apology for the comment, however Ms Elliman says she has received no contact from the councillor directly.

She said: “She has not contacted me or apologised directly for me, in fact, we have never spoken.

“For her to have made that kind of comment about somebody she doesn’t know, as a 
person in the public eye and a councillor is very poor.”

Ms Elliman, a mother-of-one, said she frequently receives negative remarks from supporters of the racing industry on social media, and that such comments have an impact.

Ms Elliman, 39, added; “I would like to know why she thought it was an appropriate thing to say.

“Posts like this on social media are a form of bullying. I think it is perhaps like road rage - people feel they can write things on social media they would never dream of saying to people’s faces.

“However, these comments do have an impact, they are very upsetting both to myself and my family and friends who see them.”

Ms Button issued an apology for her remarks on her Facebook page and through the Labour Group’s page.

It said: “I am issuing this as my apology. It was, of course, completely inexcusable of me to react in this way.

“The very best I can do is express my sincere apologies for the offence I have caused.”

She declined to comment any further on the matter.

Gail Harris, deputy leader of Norwich Labour Group acknowledged Ms Button’s apology, adding the group’s monitoring officers were looking into the situation.


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