For a long, long time, any logical or moral defense of greyhound racing has been non-existent. And as more news comes pouring out of the industry – in the United States and overseas – the evidence that should lead to a complete shutdown of dog racing is abundantly clear.
The situation in West Virginia only adds to the evidence. Thanks to the work of GREY2K USA, a new report on dog racing in the state is getting out to the public. From 2008 through June of 2013, 289 greyhounds lost their lives due to injuries or other issues at two tracks. And of course, this does not account for the dogs who simply failed at racing. What happened to those who never made it to rescue groups?
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, which partially funded the reported, also deserves a ton of credit for exposing this industry for what it is.
Back on the two tracks, nearly 4,800 injuries were suffered from 2008 to June of this year. Over the five-and-a-half year span, over 1,400 greyhounds suffered injuries that ended their so-called “careers.”
An important article from the Charleston Daily Mail also reports on the financial side of greyhound racing, which is also very much a loser. The amount of betting on live racing dropped by 37 percent from 2008 to 2012.
And get this: the Daily Mail piece notes the state of West Virginia has handed over more than $41 million to greyhound breeders since 2008, through the Greyhound Breeding Development Fund. So taxpayer money is going to breeders who send dogs into greyhound racing? How is this possible? Who could support this?
A piece posted Wednesday on the Charleston Gazette website notes the states SPENDS $30 million each year on greyhound racing, which goes to prize money and dog breeders. The people of West Virginia should be outraged.
And then we have a statement in the article made by Sam Burdette, a breeder and president of the state greyhound association. When asked about the small crates the dogs are forced to live much of their days in, he said, “These dogs look at their crates as their home.”
How little some people really know about dogs.
The article goes on to report:
In March of this year, at the Mardi Gras Casino in Cross Lanes, 38 dogs were injured on the racetrack. Eleven of those injuries involved broken bones, four were career ending injuries and one dog had to be euthanized.
That’s one month at one track. But again, insiders try to use the large number of races held each month to defend the number of dogs who suffer. For them, the number of dogs who are severely injured or who die or never make out to find new homes is acceptable, because a lot of races are going on.
A lot of potential for suffering, putting more dogs at risk more often, is a poor excuse for the suffering. I can’t believe anyone would fall for that line.
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