The Greyhound Racing Industry
BEHIND THE LIGHTS, THE TOTE AND THE NON-STARTERS
Greyhound racing is now marketed as a fun night for all the family to try and halt its demise, but the image presented is far removed from the reality of this so called sport.
For every greyhound that enters racing another will not make the grade and is likely killed. It is the same fate for many dogs that have competed on the track and not all are humanely put-to-sleep by a vet.
British tracks fuel the breeding of about 17,900* greyhounds annually (the majority bred in Ireland) of which about 9,000 will be judged suitable for racing.
The best estimate for greyhounds adopted over the same time frame is 7,500*, with dogs not registered for racing accounting for no more than 30 percent.
Racing dogs are generally kennelled for 23 hours a day, if not longer, with two dogs commonly sharing one small kennel. Standards of kennels are invariably basic to say the least and muzzles are used as a long term solution where fighting may occur.
And the condition of many greyhounds offloaded by their trainer/owner continues to shock even the most experienced rescue personnel.
Their racing career is normally terminated when 3-4 years old after competing in about 50 races. Length of career, however, can vary greatly and is frequently brought to an abrupt and sometimes horrific end through injury.
Injuries sustained annually total 5 figures and result in hundreds of greyhounds being euthanased; the majority solely on economic grounds.
Again for economic reasons, an ever increasing number of greyhounds are being homed independently by their trainer/owner without any concern given for the animal’s future welfare and security.
In all aspects of welfare the industry has failed dismally, and since 1926 (when commercial greyhound racing began in Britain) hundreds of thousands of greyhounds have been killed.
*Annual mean total across 2008/9/10
There will always be greyhounds mistreated and abused – that is a fact of life… But to keep bringing it up over and over again does my head in.
– Breeder, trainer and owner Richard Newell