Target: Greyhound Racing New South Wales Chief Executive Brent Hogan
Goal: Protect racing greyhounds from abuse, mistreatment, and abandonment.
Recent inquiries into Australia’s greyhound racing industry have revealed rampant cruelty, drugging, and unnecessary death. Along with the constant risk of injury for these quick canines, dogs used for racing now face increasing pressure to uphold the weakening racing industry as attendee base declines.
Every year in Australia alone, thousands of dogs are put to death for being slow, injured, or simply not a good enough candidate for racing. Of the 8,000 bred every year, 3,000 are euthanized as puppies, and even more are euthanized for growing past their prime or becoming injured during a race.
Dogs that do not sustain grave injuries are sometimes drugged and forced to race anyway, which can cause further injury and greater pain afterward. Some racing greyhounds have been found to have morphine or other pain-killing narcotics in their bloodstreams after racing. Blood tests have also indicated the presence of performance enhancing drugs in some racing dogs. This year, 70 dogs have tested positive for banned substances, while an unknown number of conventional drugs such as cocaine, amphetamines, and enhancing hormones go undetected.
Those dogs that are not euthanized are placed with shelters in attempts to find them a home. Upon their arrival at the shelter, many are found to exhibit symptoms of neglect and poor health – some are even in need of emergency treatment. Many of the female dogs are in poor condition due to over-breeding: the body becomes depleted of minerals and nutrients required to remain strong. Others show clear signs of abuse: one dog lost its eye after being hit with a belt buckle by its owner.
It is time for the Australian racing industry to stop exploiting intelligent creatures for the entertainment of gamblers. Fewer dogs should be reared each year to counteract the high rates of euthanasia. The use of drugs on racing dogs must be closely watched, and cruelty should be punished with the loss of permission to raise and race dogs.
Dear Greyhound Racing NSW Chief Executive Brent Hogan,
A recent inquiry into Australia’s greyhound racing industry uncovered mass euthanasia, mistreatment, drugging, and neglect toward dogs. As the world’s largest dog racing industry, it is imperative that Australia’s standards for treatment are improved and enforced.
Over 3000 greyhounds per year are euthanized after being deemed unprofitable, while only 52 have been adopted into family homes. Reasons for this mass euthanasia span from injuries to simply being not fast enough to race. Some injured dogs are given pain-killing narcotics and forced to race anyway, which causes further detriment to an injury and could result in permanent disability.
Other dogs are given performance-enhancing drugs such as hormones, or conventional drugs such as cocaine, caffeine, or amphetamines which are unlikely to show up on a test of a dog’s blood. Like in humans, these drugs can have adverse effects on the cardiovascular and nervous systems.
Veterinarians report that many dogs surrendered by the racing industry arrive in poor condition. Female dogs grow feeble after birthing too many puppies, while others show signs of neglect and starvation. Some even require emergency treatment – one dog lost its eye after an angry owner hit it with a belt buckle.
I demand that tighter regulations be imposed to cut down on Australia’s dog racing cruelty. Fewer dogs should be bred per year to cut down on the rate of unwanted dogs, while more funds should be allotted to adoption programs and shelters that take in the industry’s unwanted dogs. Owners that neglect and force drugs upon their dogs should immediately lose their ability to race and breed greyhounds.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Alex Lapuerta via Flickr