Two more protective curtains could be pulled off greyhound racing

No Gravatar

Two pieces of potential good news, in relation to greyhound racing, have been highlighted by the media this month.

In Florida, one of the dark corners the greyhound racing industry has always been able to hide in was not having to report injuries. This week, the Miami Herald reports State Senate President Andy Gardiner will push forward on a bill that would require the state’s track report injuries.

SB 2 was filed Tuesday by Senator Eleanor Sobel (D-Hollywood). If track veterinarians fail to report injuries, they would be fined. I hope the fines will be substantial, to make circumventing the fines through the backdoor a tougher thing to do.

The Herald reminds us that a new law from 2013 required the tracks to report deaths. In only the first nine months of that year, 74 greyhounds died. The piece rightfully puts the numbers in context – one death every three days. That’s horrible.

The industry always tries to muddy the water by comparing deaths with the number of race starts in any given time period. That propaganda will no longer fly. Anyone with an ounce of compassion in their heart understands that a greyhound dying every three days – or 74 dying over only nine months – is a tragedy.

But what we all really want to see in Florida is at least a decoupling bill to pass into law, which would end the state mandate that casinos hold a set number of races. Even better still would be a complete ban on dog racing.

The news might be even better in West Virginia, where the state could drop subsidies for greyhound racing. Get this: the Charleston Daily Mail reports the state government will hand over $80 million this budget year to the thoroughbred and greyhound racing industries.

And there’s a swirling around for a decoupling bill there as well.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Horrible Headlines of the Month: Greyhound Racing and Horse Racing

No Gravatar

It is commonplace to see really clueless headlines over really clueless articles, especially where greyhound racing and horse racing and other animal industries are concerned.

I’ve gone back over some recent alerts that have popped up on the Pack News Wire.

Welcome to the brave new world of greyhound racing at Towcester” – by Northampton Chronicle & Echo.

This one is about a new greyhound racing stadium in the UK. So while the news out of this industry is extremely troubling for the welfare of the dogs, here we have a brand new facility where uninformed people go to gamble on a blood sport.

Can Texas horse racing be a winner again?” – by Star-Telegram.

To answer their question – No, not for the horses who will die, some after being shipped off to be slaughtered.

The article quotes the president of the National Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association as saying, “Texas horse racing right now is in trouble.”

That’s actually really good news for horses.

Christmas Comes Early For Kel and Keybow” – Australian Racing Greyhound.com.

It’s an article concerning the performance of a dog in a recent race. Kel refers to the dog’s “owner.”

Unfortunately, the blessings of Christmas can only come to Keybow if he is rescued from greyhound racing.

AND we have another article (if you can call it that) out of Australia where a National Greyhound Welfare Strategy is being developed by the greyhound racing industry.

I’m not trusting the dog racing industry to be the one to develop welfare standards.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Columnist takes slippery-slope argument to the extreme

No Gravatar

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.

 

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Yes – Horse racing isn’t fair – to the horses

No Gravatar

So California Chrome’s owner said horse racing’s triple crown system isn’t fair to the horses. And he said the other owners who don’t put their charges in all three races are cowards. Then he sort of apologized to the industry.

Yes – horse racing is not fair – but not in the way this guy suggested.

Horse racing isn’t fair to the thousands of race horses that die every year. It isn’t fair to the horses who have been drugged over the years. It isn’t fair to the horses that are the result of poor breeding practices.

Horse racing isn’t fair to the horses that suffer when they are no longer deemed valuable to the industry and it isn’t fair to the horses that end up being shot in the head by captive bolts in a slaughterhouse somewhere.

 

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

The promotion of horse racing is disgusting

No Gravatar

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

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

ESPN Preakness article is disgustingly typical

No Gravatar

While letting the dogs out to pee this morning, I checked my smart phone for the morning news. On the ESPN website, there was a headline preview for the Preakness horse race.

It seems California Chrome has an illness – turns out to be a blister in his throat. So I clicked on a link to read more. The link took me to a blog post about the so-called Hot List of favorites to win the Preakness.

The writer bemoaned California Chrome’s “dismal time” in Kentucky Derby, but called the rest of the horses a “mediocre bunch at best.” And he casually notes the horse lost 35 pounds in the Derby.

Continue reading

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

PETA’s video report on the abuses in horse racing

No Gravatar

PETA released the following report this week, with undercover video concerning the horrors of horse racing. The New York Times focused on the news as well.

When profit motives are mixed with animals – most notably here with animal racing – the outcome is routinely horrible for the animals.

Now is the time to ban horse racing and greyhound racing. For every day that passes, horses and dogs are dying at alarming rates, while countless more are suffering.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Greyhound and horse breeders mad about proposed cut in subsidies

No Gravatar

Breeders of race horses and greyhounds are mad that they won’t get as much free taxpayer money from the West Virginia lottery, under a new bill. I wonder if putting more of the funds into programs where they should go – for education or mental health programs, etc – seems unfair to these breeders.

The breeders would get 15 percent less in subsidies under the plan. And make no mistake that this is taxpayer funds we’re talking about, even though it’s a voluntary tax through the lottery. State lottery profits should go to programs that benefit people and animals.

The WV Gazette article includes the following:

Racing industry representatives contend the cut would be the final blow to horse and dog racing at the state’s four racetrack casinos.

So the industry can’t exist without the subsidies, funneled away from other programs. And even a 15 percent cut would mean an end to both racing industries; this from the industry insiders.

What does this really mean? It means the general population gets it and fewer and fewer people are gambling on animal races, as they understand the history of abuse. They know race horses have ended up in slaughterhouses and have been found to have been drugged. And they know untold numbers of greyhounds never made it out alive.

If an industry’s business is so bad that it cannot survive without subsidies, it’s time for it to go away. Why would two industries with a history of animal exploitation somehow get this level of government protection? I’m sure other struggling businesses would love to have the government ensure they never fail.

The WV Gazette article notes the racing industry received 87.6 million in Lottery subsidies last year.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Editorial covers a lot of ground on animal welfare

No Gravatar

An editorial by Peter Fricker, projects and communications director for the Vancouver Humane Society, ran September 8 on the Vancouver Sun website.

Fricker covers a lot of territory on animal-welfare topics, from endangered species to habitat loss to horse racing to factory farming to fur farms to bull fighting. He offers one quote indicating that unlike the extinction of animals over the past history of the Earth, human activity is almost entirely to blame for the current extinction crisis.

Among the terrible statistics he cited is this:

More than 10,000 U.S. thoroughbred horses are shipped annually to slaughterhouses in Canada and Mexico. Most of these are young, healthy horses — their racing careers can end at three years old but they can live to 30.

This is a stunning number that outpaces the horrors of the awful greyhound racing industry. The convenient excuse is to claim we have to inflict suffering on animals in vast ways, for financial reasons – or for the jobs the suffering supports.

Is our society still so greedy or in other ways so apathetic that we’re supposed to support cruelty and torture as long as it supplies jobs? We should be at a point – in 2013 – where we’ve advanced beyond this point. But we are not there yet.

I think most people care. But there exist enough greed and apathy and cruelty around us to maintain these industries and entities and to maintain the protection the government is offering them. So horse racing, dog racing, puppy mills and other horrors still exist because too many politicians refuse to put compassion above profit margins.

 

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Two articles – two typical quotes from industry insiders

No Gravatar

One of the common themes from Big Oil and industries that exploit animals are the typical quotes spewed by the insiders when the time comes to defend cases where animals are harmed or die.

After the recent rupture of Exxon’s Pegasus pipeline in Arkansas the company put out a written statement concerning the impact of the estimated 84,000 gallons of crude spilled into the area.

One sentence from the statement read –

“The majority of the impacted wildlife has been reptiles, primarily venomous snakes.”

This obviously is wrong, as the oil cannot pick and choose the animals it swamps – and the quote relates to the live animals found. And of course, the statement is meant as propaganda, as if no one would care if snakes were the primary victims. And what? – Were non-venomous snakes somehow spared?

In the UK, horse racing defenders are taking a page out of the greyhound racing industry. Prior to a horse dying after a Grand National race, a jockey was quoted by the Cambridge News as saying the race horses receive better treatment than “many children.”

Animal Aid reports the horse was the 23rd to die during the Grand National since 2000. In the Fox Hunters’ Chase, several horses reported pulled up or fell, described as being “potentially injured.”

So are “many children” forced to race in events such as this. And would a civilized society allow an event go on where 23 kids died over this same time frame, with many more injured?

 

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic