Greyhound Racing: The twisted info keeps on coming

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I continue to collect the on-going statements out of the greyhound racing industry that not only boarder on asinine, they wallow in it.

But let’s start with May 22, when Terry Frei wrote a column for the Denver Post that contained the following: “In a perfect world, live racing could stand on its own four feet. ” He was writing mostly about hours racing, the equally-evil brother of dog racing.

“In a perfect world,” you Mr. Frei would not be writing about horse or dog racing. In a perfect world, both industries would be banned forever.

You apparently are not aware of the abuses in both industries, where horses and greyhounds are sent off to be shot, have their heads cut off or are slaughtered.

This next story goes back to February, but it’s worth a focus on this post. The Florida Greyhound Association does not support a call for decoupling in the state, of course.

David Bishop of the Florida Greyhound Association was quoted in an article by the Broward Palm Beach New Times as saying:  “The Florida Greyhound Association fully supports reporting at-track injuries and deaths, but this is more than just gathering numbers.”

Once again, we see an official from greyhound racing admit there are injuries and deaths in dog racing. But they still want to race dogs. There is no reason whatsoever in that position.

Our moral compasses tell us that admitting that dogs are being killed for gambling profits means the industry should be shut down immediately.

The industry also continues to make the bizarre claim that ending greyhound racing would lead to an increase in gambling. This is tinfoil-hat stuff. The industry would love to see the now-empty stands at dog tracks filled with people gambling on dog races.

That would increase gambling – right? So dose the industry not want to see an increase in gambling on dog racing??? Come on folks – let’s not go off on wild tangents that you really can’t possibly believe are true – at least I hope.

The dog racing industry suggesting it thinks an increase in gambling is a bad thing would be like Kim Kardashian saying she’s going to drop TV appearances and drop fashion and just wear sweatpants to major events.

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Another horse racing scandal – as the industry again does PED damage-control

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It is 2015 and for many, many years animal-welfare advocates have been calling for an end to horse racing – or at minimum the end to the abuses in horse racing.

And yet we continue to see stories like the one that flashed across the Pack News Wire today. The Association of Racing Commissioners International (RCI) has called for new regulations on the use of Cobalt throughout racing across the globe.

An article on HorseTalk.co.nz notes the substance is used to enhance performance, but can damage the thyroid gland and can be toxic to the horse’s heart.

But Cobalt is used anyway by at least some strainers.

Hell – the lure is so strong to win at all costs that human athletes are risking their lives with PEDs. Is it so hard to understand how humans with dollar signs flashing over they heads can so easily inject animals with PEDs?

These people will always try to find ways to slip around the rules. They need that money on that wall; they want that money on that wall.

The use of animal in gambling operations must be banned immediately. The profit motives will always be too strong and in the case of racing, the dogs and horses will continue to suffer. Just over the last couple of months, we’ve seen the results.

If we don’t ban animal racing, we will continue to read articles like this one and stories with topics far worse for many years to come. The racing industries will just continue to claim they are working on the next scandal – on rinse-repeat – over and over again.

It’s been that way for decades and our elected officials just keep looking the other way. After all, if it’s about money, it’s an excuse for anything. If only we had more elected officials with backbones. But right now, that goal is far in the distance.

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Jockey charged after shock device spotted in promotional photo

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Jockey Roman Eric Chapa faces a felony charge of unlawful influence on racing after a device he was holding in his hand during a race was spotted in a promotional photo

A CNN report on the incident contains some troubling details. This isn’t a first offense for this guy.

Chapa was fined and suspended in 1994 for using a nail as a spur. In 2002, he spent 10 days in jail on animal-cruelty charges unrelated to horse racing. And in 2012 he was caught hitting his horse in the face during a race, leading to another fine.

And yet, he’s in trouble again in 2015. Obviously, the desire to win races is stronger than the weak punishment he has received to date.

The industry, as usual for horse racing and greyhound racing, is defending itself by suggesting this is a rare thing. But what about the horses who are injured on a routine basis and what about the horses who are shipped off to slaughter once their racing days are over?

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Horse racing industry turning to gimmicks to save itself

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As is the case for the ever-eroding greyhound racing industry, horse racing is trying to save itself with gimmicks. Both industries are turning to reruns – yes, reruns – for people to bet on.

As a stand-alone effort, It is better to show reruns, as opposed to putting the animals at risk on live races. But anything that happens to prolong the suffering of the current horses and greyhounds is inhumane.

The Spokesman-Review ran a story about rerun horse betting and the opposition being put up by Native-American tribes in Idaho.

But here’s the kicker from the Spokesman-Review article:

They were approved by state lawmakers in 2013 at the urging of Idaho’s horse racing industry, which said allowing betting on past, or “historical” horse races, would help cash-strapped racetracks continue to be able to offer live racing.

“Cash-strapped” in this case can be translated to – “Too few people are betting on live races because more people are learning what happens to the horses and greyhounds that don’t win and more people are reading the news accounts about the drugs being given to horses and dogs.

There’s a real battle going on between those using the rerun machines and the Native-American tribes that operate other casinos.

I have a way to settle this whole thing. Just ban the live horse racing and greyhound racing and let customers at all of the casinos just bet on the reruns.

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Two more protective curtains could be pulled off greyhound racing

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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

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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.

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

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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.

 

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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!

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ESPN Preakness article is disgustingly typical

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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.

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