Headline of the Week: “Finish Line for Iowa Greyhound Racing Draws Closer”

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If only the notion would move into reality – and very soon. But the story under the headline above – as posted today on the WOWT.com website – notes an agreement is still in the works.

The bill that could bring an end to greyhound racing in Iowa has advanced to the state’s House Ways and Means Committee. Breeders and other dog-racing employees could share $70 million. As it stands now, the state’s two dog tracks gets millions in subsidies from the casinos each year, to prop up a crumbling industry.

The article notes the legislature is telling the casinos and dog-racing leaders to work out a deal or take the solution offered by the state.

I don’t mind assisting the employees in the transition to other careers, but handing over millions to an industry with a history of animal-welfare abuses is not a good thing at all. But then again, if this means more dogs will be saved from a life of racing, it can be a good thing.

If only we could see Florida finally shut down its dog tracks, we could be on the way to finally shutting this industry down for good.

 

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Legislation Update: Greyhound racing, puppy mills and animal cruelty

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There has been some positive movement around the map of late, on greyhound racing to animal-cruelty laws.

South Dakota finally joined the ranks of the states with felony animal cruelty laws, becoming the 50th state to enact more serious punishment for severe acts of cruelty to animals.

Thanks to the recent passage of SB 46, cockfighting also becomes a felony in South Dakota and the HSUS reports it is now a felony in 41 states.

GREY2K USA’s Carey Theil reviewed recent legislation on greyhound racing in his Saving Greys blog. Colorado officially banned dog racing this month and West Virginia could cut racing subsidies by 10 percent.

The Iowa State House could hopefully vote soon on a bill to decouple dog racing from the two casinos in the state and in Florida, a bill could help reduce the number of races there. And thankfully, we’re seeing injury reports in Florida that should shine more light on the horrors taking place.

The West Virginia legislation will cut “infrastructure, thoroughbred development, greyhound racing and the racetrack modernization fund” by 10 percent, according to SFGate.com. Thankfully, the bill passed in a big way.

It’s a small step in the right direction But we need to see a complete ban. This most-recent move was prompted by budget concerns. The state could move closer to a balanced budget and end the suffering for the dogs by completely banning dog racing.

In Virginia, at last report, Baily’s Law is only waiting for Governor McAuliffe’s signature. The bill would require pet dealers to reimburse particular veterinary fees within 14 days, for pets they have sold who later require care. And pet stores will be required to reveal the identity of the breeders they use.

Another good step to cut down on puppy mill breeding, but why not ban the sale of pets in stores and why not require breeders across the board to cover veterinary care in cases where a puppy or kitten is found to have genetic problems or health problems that are a result of breeding practices?

 

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Misleading headline of the day

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When the headline – “Iowans divided on future of greyhound racing” – popped up on the Pack News Wire this morning, I had a sinking feeling. Why would support for dog racing be on par with those who support animal welfare?

But then I read the Des Moines Register article. While the numbers are far from where they should be, I wouldn’t use the phrase “divided” to describe the results. The anti-dog racing side won the poll – 50 to 33 percent. In an election, this would be considered a huge win for Candidate Compassion.

The bad news comes in the fact that only 50 percent support animal welfare in this poll. Apparently, a lot of people are not well-informed on the issue. Must …. keep … focusing … on … education.

The battle goes on.

 

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Misspeak of the Week: Iowa Senator on greyhound racing

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One of the biggest misspeaks of the week goes to Iowa Sen. Jeff Danielson (D-Cedar Falls), who was quoted by KWWL.com as saying a quicker phase-out of greyhound racing in the state would “be irresponsible.”

Senator Danielson must have been misquoted or must have misspoke – right? Does he realize that it is the greyhound racing industry itself that is irresponsible? The faster we can end greyhound racing, the faster it is that the dogs can be rescued and adopted into loving homes. It is irresponsible and cruel to allow the suffering and the injuries and the deaths to continue for another day.

Maybe he was misquoted, because otherwise it seems he does not understand the meaning of the word.

And the article published Feb. 13 reports Danielson and a Senate committee will look into a second draft of legislation that would allow casinos in Iowa to drop greyhound racing. But this second version was developed by the Iowa Greyhound Association (a breeder group).

The dog-racing industry should be the last group considered for input on legislation that could impact animal welfare.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Pack of greyhound racing news

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The needle is moving in the positive direction in greyhound racing, as more news about the odds of shutting down the horrible industry in Iowa comes out. And hopefully, the Florida legislature will follow suit. The Herald-Tribune out of Florida ran an editorial yesterday about the decoupling effort, a move that could drop the requirement to hold dog races at casinos in the state. The next legislative session begins March 4. The editorial notes 12 of the 21 greyhound tracks in the country are in Florida. And then there’s the following tidbit about gambling dollars on dog racing, which have dropped:

… by 72 percent in Florida between 1990 and 2013. During the same period, taxes and fees paid by tracks and collected by the state dropped by 98 percent.

Again, I can’t say this enough: How could any taxpayer support the massive way a few of states have specifically supported this industry, with huge handouts and a requirement that it exist. What other business in the country gets this sort state backing – with a handouts and a guarantee they won’t be shut down, no matter how incredibly deep the losses go.

More good news is coming out of Australia, where the headline on the Young Witness website actually plays the news of greyhound racing’s decline as a bad thing. It’s seems there are ongoing funding cuts and talk of “now it’s all falling down around us” and “alleged mismanagement of the sport by GRNSW.” We can only hope the whole industry falls down – soon.

In some disgusting news out of Great Britain, a trainer is supporting a track in Wimbledon through a “Show of Passion” campaign. How about a show of “compassion” for the dogs by shutting down the industry for good.

And a great headline from Iowa ran Wednesday on TH Online website – “Negotiations would immediately end dog racing in Dubuque.”

Hopefully, an agreement is on the way that will allow both casinos in the state to end racing – with an end to the state mandates there.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Big month for greyhound racing news

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Iowa could take a big step in the direction of ending greyhound racing in the state. The Newton Daily News reports the Dubuque City Council will ask the state government to drop the mandate on holding dog races at Mystique Casino.

The article includes this paragraph:

But since then, city officials said, the greyhound racing industry has fallen into a “death spiral,” turning the once lucrative track into a financial drag.

Certainly, the racing greyhounds across the nation face a death spiral every day. But the article also notes $4.5 million in subsidies was handed over to the state’s racing industry last year and over the last three decades, $55 million has been diverted from “charitable organizations and the city’s capital projects fund.”

The state pulled money earmarked for charities and gave it to the dog-racing industry? Who could do something like that?

At the Mardi Gras Casino in Charleston, W.Va., allegations are out concerning a track employee abusing greyhounds. The accused told a commission he was having a bad day.

The Charleston Gazette reports:

… 4,700 greyhounds were injured at the state’s two dog-racing tracks within the past five years. More than 1,400 of those injuries were catastrophic, career-ending injuries, according to the study.

In Australia, the news is extremely horrible. The Illawarra Mercury ran an article Monday concerning the disappearance of thousands of greyhound puppies each year. In 2011 alone, 3,440 puppies were born but went missing before they were named.

This has been the fear about dog racing for many, many years – that puppies are “culled” before even being given the chance to survive. It is estimated that 28 percent of the Australian racing dogs are killed as puppies.

And then there is the following from the article:

Other submissions told of abuse of dogs kept in bare paddocks with little care and no socialisation. Some were kennelled in darkness to control barking and had Velcro attached to their paws to stop them making noise.

The article suggests injured dogs or those deemed too slow for racing are killed by the thousands each year.

The stories out of New Zealand are horrible as well. A Yahoo Sports article from Nov. 15 quotes an animal-welfare advocate as saying dogs there are killed when they are no longer of value to the industry.

And yet – somehow – greyhound racing continues. And states such as Florida and Iowa are not just ignoring the horrors, the elected officials there are in full support, requiring the industry to exist.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic