Columnist takes slippery-slope argument to the extreme

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In writing in support of horse and greyhound racing, Les Muir out of Australia, goes all in on the slippery-slope routine. In his Daily Advertiser column, Muir seems to really believe that if horse racing was banned, bans on all sports would follow.

It’s stunning. I hope he was actually doing some sort of double-reverse tongue-and-cheek.


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When will we see an end to greyhound racing?

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There has been a scattering of news of late on the topic of greyhound racing. I’m hoping with every passing day, we are getting closer to a complete shutdown of this horrible industry.

Over in the UK, an important article ran on the Independent website on November 8. Apparently a BBC1 documentary ran several days ago entitled – “Panorama: Drugs and Money – Dog Racing Undercover.”

The Independent piece used the terms – ” … but the overall impression was of a sport in which the dogs mean nothing at all beyond their gambling potential” in reviewing the documentary.

The greyhounds are being given drugs such as cocaine, amphetamines and the sedative cyclazine. Some 2,500 dogs are being killed there each year when their racing days are over.

A BBC News article ran on November 3, detailing how the dogs are “drugged to rig bets.” The article contains some really disgusting information.

Back in September, referenced an independent report funded by the Florida legislature. The state spent $4.1 million to regulate greyound racing in 2012, but the tax revenues over the same year only amounted to $3.1 million.

On an interesting side note, a judge in Texas has ruled the industry there cannot offer terminals where patrons gamble on images of historical races. A group of charitable bingo operations challenged the use of the terminals, because they might reduce the level of patronage on bingo games.

The CEO of the Sam Houston Race Park was quoted in the blog entry linked above as saying the ruling was a blow to the racing industry in the state. That is actually great news for dogs and horses.

And in another bit of good news, the University College Dublin has announced it will stop purchasing greyhounds for veterinary training. Yahoo News out of the UK reports the League Against Cruel Sports and GREY2K found that 212 former racing dogs were purchased and killed by the university over a six-year period.

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Breaking: Legislative bill filed in Florida to protect racing greyhounds

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File this story under the heading – Really good news – But not really good enough.

The Miami Herald reports two elected officials – Sen. Chris Smith (D-Fort Lauderdale) and Rep. Kevin Rader (D-Boca Raton) of Floria – have introduced the the Greyhound Safety Act, a state bill that should strengthen protections for racing greyhounds.

It is a solid step forward, but what the dogs need is a complete ban on greyhound racing – or at least a decoupling bill that will end the requirement that the racinos hold races. With a decoupling, the facilities can completely drop greyhound racing.

Currently, one of the most idiotic laws on the United States requires the gambling sites to hold so many races per year. Did I say it was idiotic? No – it’s more than idiotic.

The article notes the bill includes a provision that would ban those “convicted of a felony for animal cruelty, child abuse, aggravated assault or battery from obtaining a license or permit from the Division of Parimutuel Wagering …”

The bill also contains requirements for safety upgrades and reporting injuries to the dogs.
Again, it’s all good. But banning the horrible industry altogether or at least allowing the tracks to drop it, is a far better solution.
With this bill, dogs will still suffer and die on a regular basis, as we’ve seen in the reports of deaths over the last year at Florida tracks.
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More negative press for greyhound racing

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Let’s review more in the way of bad press for the greyhound racing industry – much-deserved bad press.

The Miami Herald went all scathing on dog racing earlier this month, in terms of “lax regulations.” The article led with information about a convicted kidnapper being allowed to race dogs in Florida.

One of the key sentences in the piece – “But, based on dozens of cases reviewed by the Miami Herald and Tampa Bay Times, the implementation of the rules are lax, and the penalties are often weak.

And it is noted the state regulators dished out 80 licenses over the last year to individuals previously convicted of everything from “cocaine, heroin and amphetamine possession to assault and battery.”

Solid reporting there by the Miami Herald. puts the death numbers that I previously blog about in these terms: The rate of death at Florida greyhound tracks is one every three days. A volunteer from GREY2K USA is interviewed for the piece and states advocates were actually underestimating the number of annual deaths.

Now that reporting is required by law, the real extent of the problem is being uncovered. But of course, the industry defends itself by reporting percentages, compared to overall numbers of greyhound.

This does little for the huge number of dogs who are dying each year. This article puts the number of greyhound deaths at 149 at the 13 Florida tracks – between May 2013 and July 2014. That is a horrible and troubling number.

To minimize the tragedy with percentages is disgusting.


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Misguided new program in Australia puts more greyhounds at risk

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I was stunned when an article popped up Tuesday night on the Pack News Wire, concerning a so-called “Masters” greyhound racing program in Australia.

Some dogs will be forced to raced past the typical age when they are shut down from racing. The stark cluelessness on the part of the racing industry plays out in the following paragraph from the piece posted on the TheDogs website.

Masters racing is an important initiative that prolongs the careers of NSW racing greyhounds and reiterates GRNSW’s commitment to greyhound welfare by maximising the racing opportunities available.

The nerve of suggesting this is a commitment to the welfare of the dogs is sickening at best.

The industry will try anything, from propaganda and more, to keep this horrible industry afloat.

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News media stepping up of late, in exposing greyhound racing

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It’s been an impressive month or so in the news media, in terms of focusing on greyhound racing, as the horrible industry it really is.

The public across the board is against it and only a tiny segment of gamblers support it. So the only roadblocks remaining are the lobbyists and the few politicians in states like Florida who continue to block important legislation that might shut down the tracks for good.

How these few state legislatures can continue to hand over state funds to this industry and offer it protections no other industry enjoys is beyond belief. This industry should be shut down today, across the globe.

So this week, I’ll be reviewing some of the media coverage. Let’s start with an editorial from the Pensacola News Journal, posted Tuesday on the site.

The writer notes enforcement is “almost nonexistent” from the Florida Division of Parimutuel Wagering, in regard to rules that should ban or suspend those convicted of a felony or of abusing animals. (More on this in an upcoming post.)

Since a new reporting law went into effect last year in Florida, 93 racing greyhound deaths occurred. In a single year – 93 dogs were killed. And this doesn’t include the injuries or I fear, the dogs killed before they even began their racing days.

The editorial goes on to suggest an end to dog racing is a “moral imperative.” It is an incredibly important phrase to use. The state legislature needs to step up in its next session and take the moral path, in at least decoupling dog racing from the casinos.

Greyhound racing can no longer exist in this country without being propped up by public funds and the few state laws that require casinos to hold races. It’s crazy – despite the reports on the troubling rate of deaths and injuries and the history of abuse, some elected officials are still supporting dog racing.

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Two articles point to fall of greyhound racing

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Two stories posted on one website – – on July 27 touched on the downturn for the greyhound racing industry. Despite what any industry insider might want to claim, it is education that has the dog-racing industry playing to empty seats.

I’ve never gambled on anything more than a couple of lottery tickets over the course of my entire life. But for those into this sort of thing, I’m sure it seems better to gamble on cards, dice or machines, as opposed to the life or the suffering of dogs.

The first article was by writer Jon Reed. He reports the Birmingham Race Course in Alabama “is in a daily fight for its life” – as is the case for the other dog-racing tracks around the nation.

And get this, back in May, the track was reportedly three years behind on paying property taxes and requested $800,000 from the racing commission to pay off the debt.

The second article posted was from the Associated Press and it notes the day the writer was there, only a couple of dozen people were in the stands to watch the races at Flagler Dog Track in Florida.

The writer rightfully notes dog racing has been “propped up by casino gambling.” YES – other forms of gambling have not hurt greyhound racing. These other forms are actually holding racing up, as the states where it exists, the casinos are unbelievably required to hold races.


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Media focused of late on the end of greyhound racing in the US

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Good news this week. The media has flashed a scattering of pieces across the web of late, on the end of greyhound racing. Some of the articles basically go into the possibility that the market could ultimately spell the end.

It would be a bit of justice for the unpopularity of the industry to finally lead to its downfall. And the dog racing insiders know it. They are battling hard for the few states that still allow dog racing to continue to actually require that it exists. These insiders know that without a coupling of casinos with dog tracks, the industry would crumble into the basement of history.

The Associated Press ran a story Wednesday reporting on a “couple dozen” people at a recent race at the 7,000-seat Flagler Dog Track in Florida. And the owner is quoted in the article as saying on a so-called “good day”, only about 100 people attend.

So some of the elected officials in the state of Florida continue to fight to force casinos to hold events that are extremely unpopular. I’ll ask it again – What other industry, especially one so unpopular and one dipped in a history of dog deaths and abuses, enjoys a total protection to exist from states?

Why are these same elected officials not fighting for struggling stores or other industries to get these unparallelled and unprecedented state protections and subsidies and requirements that they get to remain in operation, no matter what?

AP has a news video posted about the coupling issue in Florida. Coupling – or requiring casinos hold dog races to operate as a casino is one of the most idiotic laws in the nation. And those who argue against the effort to shut down dog racing as a gambling option – with the claim that the effort is a push to expand gambling – are dizzy beyond words.

The Washington Post offered a review Wednesday from the AP on the current states that still allow dog racing.

As we see more from the national media and local media sources, we can only hope more people will be educated as to the horrors of greyhound racing.

But while the trend is moving in the right direction in most areas, in New Hampshire, some elected officials are trying to push the state backward.

The ran an article July 5 with the following troubling paragraph:

A local man who plans to open an off-track betting parlor helped lobby the N.H. Legislature to pass a law not only allowing, but requiring, live horse racing to return to the community if his business gets up and running.

So the state legislature has passed a law requiring that he gets to operate his business. Where is the state offering equal protection for other businesses?

And then we have this from the story:

During the 36 months Faucher has to open a racetrack, New Hampshire officials would escrow the taxes collected from simulcast wagering at Hinsdale OTB, according to state law.

That money would fund certain parts of live horse racing, including supervision of the races, judges, stewards and labs for tests, which can be expensive, McLaughlin said.

So am I reading this right? – Taxes collected will go back to the business, to fund the very business where the taxes are collected from?


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The promotion of horse racing is disgusting

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This time year, with the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness coming up, some networks are busy promoting horse racing. Of course, NBC is worst offender, as it televises this nonsense every year.

Thankfully, we are seeing actual news coverage of horse racing. We just action in response to these stories.

Credit goes to the New York Times for being one of the news outlets actually engaging in journalism on this topic. Back on March 24, a story ran under the headline – “Mangled Horses, Maimed Jockeys.”

The subhead read – “The new economics of horse racing are making an always-dangerous game even more so, as lax oversight puts animal and rider at risk.”

The article reports an extremely troubling statistics. An average of 24 horses die at tracks across the US – EACH WEEK!

Continue reading

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Interesting new rules imposed for greyhound racing in Australia

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I’ll place the following news under the heading of “I’ll believe it when I see it.”

The Australian Associated Press reports new animal-welfare standards have been imposed on greyhound racing. The main regulation we need to keep an eye on, according to the article:

Dogs will be required to stay under the care of a registered owner for their lifetime, unless retired as a pet.

The RSPCA notes over-breeding of greyhounds has led to “a vast population of surplus unwanted dogs.” This of course is true for puppy-mill breeding and greyhound racing everywhere.

But will the industry really follow this rule? Will the industry insiders really properly care for the dogs who are not able to find loving homes? How will the dogs live who don’t find homes?


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