Greyhound Racing Should Be Shut Down.

I want to vent my opinion on this horrible, so-called sport. I hope you don’t mind…

As custodians and advocates for the animals on this planet I think the time has come to rid ourselves of this cruelly run, and diabolically mismanaged industry.

I have been listening for some time to various media reports and opinions too, from radio announcers, television sport presenters and the like. It seems that the viability and dogged persistence (pardon the pun) of Greyhound racing is inextricably linked to the amount of money that changes hands.

Boo Hoo!

I am amazed that the argument I hear most often about why the industry shouldn’t, wouldn’t and couldn’t be shut down is because it is apparently worth $3b. 3,000 people are apparently employed in NSW. Government revenue would be affected, betting agencies and the livelihoods of people would be destroyed – blah, blah blah. Boo hoo.

What price then, for the astonishingly cruel and evil practices carried out by SOME trainers and owners? If GR was worth say, only $3m, would we say that’s it? That it's not worth it? It must be stopped? Clearly it’s quite alright to perpetuate cruelty for $3b, but probably not for $3m.

It seems as though the big money provides some kind of salve for our collective consciences, and blinkers. Great big blinkers. The kind of blinkers that destroy our moral compass.

Its time to pull up stumps and admit that this industry is nothing more than a festering boil on the bum of humanity. Admit that we are not capable of running animals, sport and money as a business without selling our souls. The three should never be put together in the same sentence anyway. It's cheap money from a dirty business.

The appalling way “blooding” has been carried out is both disgusting and wholly unnecessary. Anyone who owns a sight hound knows they would chase a paper bag blowing down the street without any encouragement. When a strong prey drive is inherent in a breed there is no need to tie a defenceless small animal to the lure drive and then allow the dogs to chase. Even writing this makes my stomach churn.

Those who know me though, know that I am not a supporter of any industry that uses animals for entertainment or the procurement of money…rodeos and performing animal circuses are two that come to mind. And horse racing? That’s for another day.

Have we become so inured, so greedy and arrogant that we think other life forms are ours to use as we please?

But I digress, back to GR. The latest item to emerge from the inquiry into GR has revealed that the dogs spend, on average, 23 hours per day locked in their cages. Really? Is that ok with ANYONE? Clearly it must be, or it would be stopped.

Puppies are bred at a rapid rate to replace the dogs that are turfed out for not making the grade and earning enough money. Some are incredibly lucky and meet agencies like GAP or Greyhound Rescue and get to live a life.

HOW CAN WE SIT BACK AND ALLOW THIS TO HAPPEN?

Most others who are not so lucky are taken out to the bush and shot or bludgeoned to death, en masse. Some go off the universities to be killed for veterinary student training. Some go into the breeding program. We used to export some to Asian countries but thank God that was stopped some time ago. And all because they weren’t FAST enough. Just think about that for a minute. Those dogs are treated as commodities and anyone who doesn’t oppose this industry is for it. Which means they condone it. Is that you?

I still remember the greyhound that was rescued from Rose Bay in Sydney many years ago. The photo on the front page of the newspaper showed her head streaked with blood because her ears had been cut off (no anaesthetic, just hacked off with scissors) and she was buried in the sand…alive. Her ears were removed obviously so she couldn’t be traced via her ear tattoos. Whomever it was couldn’t even do the right thing for the wrong reason and have her humanely euthanased because that would cost money. Someone or something was watching over her and she was found in time.

But now we hear that approximately 17,000 - that’s SEVENTEEN THOUSAND, greyhounds are killed each year in this country. Do the math – that’s 46 greyhounds PER DAY. And all because they weren’t FAST enough. Or they never made the grade in the first place. Perhaps as many as 8,000 puppies and young dogs don’t even make it to the track and the rest are “retired”. Permanently.

God forbid a dog is injured during training or a race. If it is not a winning dog, then it is not economically logical to spend money on treatment.

Another one for permanent retirement in the bush at the hands of the executioner.

I don’t know about you but I couldn’t live with or even know a person who is capable of such cold-blooded horror. The same hands that kill those dogs will hold their partner’s hand or play with their children. They are monsters. How do they explain it away in their own minds? I know we are not meant to judge but how can one not?

I DON'T GIVE A DAMN

Quite frankly, I don’t care if people could lose their livelihoods from this truly terrible industry if it was shut down. I don’t know how they sleep at night. And the excuse that “this is how it has always been done” doesn’t wash either. And before you accuse me of being emotional and therefore irrational, I am happy to feel some emotion. I SHOULD feel some emotion. So should you. The overriding emotion I feel is shame. There would be something missing from my soul if I felt nothing. I have worked in veterinary clinics and had to help euthanase many an animal over the years. But they were done humanely and with kind hands and hearts. I know when it is right and must be done. This doesn’t come anywhere near being right and never will.

WE ALL KNOW what has been happening. Cruel is cruel is cruel – it doesn’t matter what the source or the reason or to whom or what. To do nothing now is to allow more evil to flourish. And it IS evil. We have abrogated our duty of care. In 39 states of the US, commercial dog racing has been declared illegal and so far about 28 of the 49 tracks have been closed down so at least something is being done.

There is something we can do…no more blooding, no more puppies bred specifically for racing, no more killing of perfectly healthy beautiful animals, no more of any of it. There comes a tipping point in any crisis and I think we are there now, don’t you? Where is our integrity, our decency,… our backbone?

JUST SHUT IT DOWN

And if you really need to bet on something there are two flies crawling up the wall of their own free will…$20 says Fly A will beat Fly B.

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