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FINALLY, the elephants have some good news. The Associated Press reports today that the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus will phrase out the use of elephants by 2018.
A special thank you should go out to all organizations who have been speaking out against the use of animals in circuses and to the communities that have passed ordinances against the use of animals in entertainment venues such as this.
I recall many years ago when I attended a local county fair and went into a tent where a circus was performing. There was a pause in the show as I approached the center ring.
Suddenly, an elephant walked over to where I was standing and looked right at me. He was very sad-faced and it really impacted me. I had to walk out.
Hopefully, this news story will lead to more bans on the use animals in similar ways. Certainly greyhound racing is another one. More animals are dying there than in the circuses.PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic
In honor of the late Leonard Nimoy, who played the most logical character ever develop for TV or film, we offer today a nominee for the most illogical argument ever devised in the history of the galaxy.
The Florida Greyhound Association has taken the position that if greyhound racing ends in the state, it will lead to more gambling. (gasp, horrors) The association claims that the casinos will have more casino space, where gambling on dogs running around tracks will turn into gambling on something else – maybe cards or dice or some other activity.
So one form of gambling will take the place of another form of gambling. The only difference being dogs will no longer suffer injury or death. Spock would completely and totally reject – at warp speed – the industry’s warped thinking. (I’ll need to explain to these unthinking people the difference between warped thinking and warp speed.)
And we have an industry that would love to see an increase in the amount of gambling on dogs expressing a position that more gambling is bad. It takes warped thinking to an entirely new level.
Suddenly the folks who back GREYHOUND RACING don’t like GAMBLING – the very system that keeps greyhound racing going.
What is next for the greyhound racing industry? What other claims will it make for terrible things that will happen if dog racing ends.
Maybe they’ll say gas prices will rise to $12 a gallon or sun spots will increase to a level where all electronic communication will end of the planet. Maybe their slippery slope will lead to Vladimir Putin being appointed to the office of President of the United States.
To review the industry’s position: “Gambling is very, very bad – Unless you gamble on the lives of dogs.” Yes – that is really the position these people are taking.PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic
It’s not a great solution, as millions of dollars would go into a buyout plan, but a new bill in the West Virginia legislature could finally spell and end of greyhound racing in another state.
I don’t like the idea of the state handing over $36.5 million to breeders and owners. But these same individuals would otherwise continue to make money off the dogs who are facing injuries and deaths every day.
The WV Gazette notes the bill text in part reads –
“ … it is in the best interest of the state of West Virginia and the West Virginia greyhound racing entities to cease greyhound racing in West Virginia, and to compensate the West Virginia greyhound racing entities for their investment.”
Possibly without realizing he was doing it, a supporter of greyhound racing in Australia is challenging a common practice of many breeders across the world.
Anthony Jeffress, a breeder, was quoted Feb. 20 in an article by Australian Racing Greyhound. He was concerned about the dogs been taken by authorities during the investigation concerning live baiting.
The article reports at least two mother dogs were “separated from their respective litters aged 12-14 weeks.” And then Jeffress was quoted as saying:
“There are a lot of greyhound trainers who believe mothers should be left with their pups for as long as six months,” Jeffress said.
“Those two were weaned off but it’s not just about the feed, it’s about the socialisation.”
A bit of good news is coming out of Florida, where a bill in the state Senate that would require regular reporting on greyhound injuries on race tracks is getting closer to passage.
The Department of Business and Professional Regulation would take on the duties of tracking the reports. One piece of evidence that shows the bill is good one is the opposition from the racing industry, including Jack Cory, who represents the Florida Greyhound Association.
Cory is quoted by WSFU as saying, “We know what’s causing these deaths and we know what’s causing the injuries.” He is referring to a three-point safety plan in another bill.
If he and other insiders know what has been causing the injuries and deaths, which go back decades and into current races, why would it take a bill to correct in 2015? Why did the industry take so long to address this issue?
This is just another piece of propaganda to cover up the horrors of dog racing. What they never wanted to happen is for the public to know the extent of the injuries and deaths. This latest trend in requiring the reporting of these cases is one of the industry’s worst nightmares.
The industry has taken great pains in the last decade or so to cover up the horrors and produce propaganda that paints a rosy picture of quality care and very few casualties. Now we are seeing even more evidence that the dogs are suffering.
Hopefully this bill and the evidence it uncovers will lead to a decoupling bill, which will remove the state’s misguided law that requires dog racing to take place. The casinos will then be allowed to drop dog racing.PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic
Hope is dwindling already for greyhounds in Australia. I can’t get one post wrapped up before another alert flashes in on the Pack News Wire. We are just days from the exposure of extreme cruelty in live baiting and already the pressure to keep the dogs on the tracks is too much for the regulators there.
The Herald Sun has reported that all of the dogs in the investigation will be allowed to race, “if their owners signed statutory declarations which stated they had not been trained with live bait.”
How will we ever know? If the dogs were found at a facility or had visited a facility but many of them were not seen on videos, the owners can just claim they didn’t really train with the methods used at that facility? Or is it that they might have trained with live-bait trainers but they can claim the live-bait trainers didn’t use the method on their dogs? Is that right?
But here is the key paragraph from the article:
Animal welfare groups slammed the backflip and independent politician Andrew Wilkie said they had “completely and utterly destroyed the integrity of the races and the associated gambling”.
And yet people will continue to blindly bet their money on these races, without even knowing if dogs are being trained at illegal facilities that were not even uncovered by the investigation. It is amazing what some people will fall for.
The two big questions now are: Will the current investigation result in any real impact at all on dog racing in Australia or elsewhere. And if the impacts are minimal, what would it really take for greyhound racing to be banned?
How bad would it have to be before the government there and the people of Australia demand that the industry shut down forever?PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic
Yep – here it is, as expected. The stunning news about live baiting in greyhound racing in Australia is fresh off the presses and already the talking heads inside the industry are in full propaganda mode.
And the owners of some dogs seized in the wake of the investigation are calling for their return. They are concerned for the welfare of their dogs, according to a story posted today on the Australian Racing Greyhound site.
Really? I wonder if any of the trainers or “owners” showing concern for the dogs taken during this investigation ever expressed concern for the dogs regularly killed in racing, breeding practices or in discarding the dogs that never make the grade in training?
Don’t tell is you’re worried about the welfare of dogs being housed during a criminal investigation while you never show concern for the ongoing deaths and injuries supported by the industry.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports one “owner” used a threat this week of a Supreme Court injunction to get his two dogs back. Two of xxx dogs were under the care of Darren McDonald, who was a central player in the live-bailing scandal.
But Brad Canty gets his dogs back. It is possible that the caving in is well underway for this investigation.
And article by the Herald Sun seems to suggest the betting on dog races hasn’t slowed down. Despite the cruelty exposed and the news that the outcome of races were likely skewed by illegal training practices, the fans of dog racing just can’t let any of that get in the way of supporting the industry.
Here in the US, where the gambling isn’t clean I’m sure and dog racing is equally disgusting, at lest there was outrage over even a hint of cheating in the NFL playoffs.
In Australia’s greyhound racing, it seems a lot of gamblers are more than willing to be cheated out of their money. If it means they’ll get to watch dogs risk their lives, then it’s “here, take my money; cheat away.”
The Herald Sun quotes GRSA chief executive Matt Corby as saying:
“There is some forgiveness for an industry that says ‘we can’t be that and we need to change it’ and that’s unconditional.”
So after decades of abusing dogs and in light of the exposure of probably decades of animal torture at training facilities and after many, many years of animal-welfare advocates calling for an end to the suffer, you are calling for forgiveness.
Nothing about the dogs still dying in races. Nothing about the severe injuries and suffering. Let that go on?
If you really want forgiveness, shut down the industry and work to find loving homes for the dogs. And stop with the propaganda.PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic
So some greyhound racing insiders in Australia continue to issue statements that feature everything from concern to disdain over the live-baiting scandal. Much of it screams of artificial outrage
In reality, you don’t get to be involved in an industry that regularly kills and injures dogs and then come out with fake outrage when yet another scandal breaks out.
The Courier Mail out of Australia hit the right tone with today’s headline: “It took activists, not the greyhound industry, to uncover its sins.” In the editorial, Terry Sweetman states:
“The greyhound game is obviously incapable of regulating its own affairs and, if it is to survive, demands more government oversight and intervention.”
And then the writer rightfully calls out a proponent of dog racing:
Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce says he will meet state ministers to ensure the industry “remains” viable, strong and ethical.
It might be viable and it might be strong, but “remains” is patently not the appropriate word when it comes to the ethics of some in this industry.
Of course, dog racing isn’t viable either. But then the Agriculture Minister goes on to slam the animal-welfare groups that exposed the horrors at the live-baiting facilities. It seems he doesn’t like the fact that they trespassed to gather the video.
I get it that trespassing in general is sticky. But if you are engaged in criminal activity – particularly to this extreme degree, you shouldn’t get to hide behind property rights. The rights of the victims far exceed the property-rights of the criminal.
What if it was a child being horribly abused and someone spotted it from the street, entered the yard, called 911 and shot video on his phone as the police cars approached? That citizen would be praised as a hero.
And get this. The Courier Mail notes Victoria has a “Racing Integrity Commissioner,” – Sal Perna. Now that’s an individual with a tough job. He has to convince people there’s integrity in dog racing. But I guess when we think about it, it has become relatively easy to use propaganda to convince really gullible people that down is up or they can fly to the moon on a crock pot. (Or is that a crack pot?)PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic
From a key sponsor in Australia pulling out to officials cleaning out their offices, the backlash from the live baiting scandal is hitting the greyhound racing industry. The question is – will the right thing happen and will the fallout lead to the complete crumbing of the industry, into the dustbin of history.
The Greyhound Racing NSW board has stepped down, according to the Northern Star. I’m sure these resignations are more about appearances than they are about truly recognizing how horrible these acts really are.
Clearly, one of the individuals at the forefront of the response now to this story does not understand what is really going on.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Racing Troy Grant was quoted in the Northern Star piece as saying:
“The review will develop a new model of governance to ensure the integrity of the industry and the abhorrent practice of live baiting is stamped out for good.”
No Mr. Grant; it’s too little too late. You don’t get the keep giving this industry a get-out-of-jail-free card. What happens when the next report splashes across the headlines? You will march out with another plan to save the industry?
How about saving the dogs for once? How about addressing the ongoing deaths and injuries in this industry?
And what about the news now that whistle blowers in Australia were being intimidated and threatened, as reported on the Stuff website out of New Zealand.
ABC News ran this paragraph Feb. xx:
NSW Racing Minister Troy Grant said he dismissed the board because his government wanted to restore the integrity of the industry.
If this wasn’t such a serious story, that line would be comical. It’s hard to restore something that never existed.
New South Wales Greens MP John Kaye wants to suspend industry operations while the review is underway.
The Independent out of the UK notes the animal racing carnage in Australia is not limited to dog racing. Approximately 125 racehorses die on Australian tracks every year.
And about that major sponsor of dog racing pulling the plug – it is Macro Meats. A Herald Sun story suggests this company is the “biggest individual supporter” of the industry in Australia.
Hopefully, many more sponsors will follow.PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic
We could see this one coming. In light of the ABC Four Corner’s report on live-baiting running rampant throughout Australia’s greyhound racing industry, officials are claiming these are only isolated cases.
What you’ll see now is the industry claim it will fix this and toss out the offenders.
In an article posted today on the SBS.com site, the industry is calling for more powers to be granted to it. The story puts the number at 70, for trainers implicated in the live baiting scandal.
We’re told Greyhound Racing Victoria is going to use “enhanced surveillance technology” and put in place more welfare officers. So the same folks who completely failed at protecting the dogs – on a monumental scale – are jumping out to say they are going to look out for the welfare of dogs.
The same people who lead an industry where dogs are killed and are injured every day want to lead the effort to fight for the welfare of the dogs. Animals Australia reports approximately 8,000 “young and healthy greyhounds are discarded and killed each year without ever making it to the racetrack.”
It is unrealistic on a galactic scale to believe these people are in any way ready to look out for the welfare of animals. This would be like putting the fox in charge of the hen house – with cameras.
There is only one way to fix this boiling, stinking vat of gambling mixed with animal cruelty. Ban the practice – everywhere.
Over and over again in the ABC Four Corners report, trainers who carry around awards from the industry were seen on hidden-camera video at live-baiting facilities. Some are shown completely denying either they or anyone is engaged is live baiting.
The report features a number of dog racing’s top players. But the spin will suggest they do not represent the industry. I guess they’ll want us to forget the wave of honors we see heaped in these same people in the years and months prior to the report.
So with a history of decades of abuse in greyhound racing across the globe, we keep hearing industry insiders claim everything is great now and they’ve cleaned up their act. But now we have this widespread torture of animals in Australia exposed and the reports of injuries and deaths in huge numbers on tracks in the United States – and the abuse goes beyond these two regions.
How long will the industry in Australia and the US and beyond be allowed to keep claiming every horrific disclosure is just a rare occurrence? How long will the insiders be allowed to say, “Oh wait – NOW we’ll do something about it.”
It’s 2015 and after decades of abuse in dog racing – the governments of nations that are suppose to lead advanced societies need to finally end this abuse. No more excuses. No more chance. No more self-policing from the industry.
The greyhound racing industry is unable to police itself – in the US, in Australia or anywhere. Self-policing has only allowed brutality in Australia and other countries and decades of deaths and severe injuries and suffering in the United Stats.
With the GREY2K and ASPCA report out of the US and the ABC report out of Australia, the case is closed. As for the industry leaders, ignorance of the abuse, suffering and death is no excuse and looking the other way is no excuse and certainly being a party to this would be inexcusable.
It cannot be allowed to continue. Anyone who sees this ABC report who has at least an ounce of compassion in their soul will be sickened by it.
This is the last straw. We’ve heard too many excuses. We’ve heard too many times over many years that the dog racing industry will clean itself up. It should be banned and criminalized today. End the suffering today!
I will have much more on this story and the GREY2K/ASPCA report very soon. The news is coming out at light speed and I am still reviewing that very important report.PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic