In a protest against the abuses suffered by racing greyhounds in the UK after they are no longer useful as racers, the animal rights group, Animal Rising, have announced on Twitter their plan to disrupt the Greyhound Derby final at Towcester Racecourse on July 1st, 2023. It is a bold public announcement which has attracted a lot of response from those who dislike Animal Rising and who argue that greyhounds are treated well in retirement. Their tweets give the impression that greyhounds nearly always enjoy a contented retirement. But my research – not hard to find – indicates something different.
The result of my quick research can be seen in three articles below the tweet by Animal Rising.
Dozens of greyhounds were abandoned by their trainer when they were no longer useful to her. Exploiting animals and getting rid of them when they no longer drive human profit is a symptom of our broken relationship with animals.
These greyhounds have not been shown the love,… pic.twitter.com/gnSNYHGQSE
— Animal Rising (@AnimalRising) June 21, 2023
Greyhounds are often badly treated when their racing days are over
So, I don’t see the glossy image espoused by what appear to be supporters of greyhound racing which they argue stimulates them and makes them happy. Ultimately it is a commercial enterprise. The dogs are a means to an end; to make money. They are a commercial asset. This relationship with the dogs does not foster dog welfare but the opposite.
Of course, PETA are very critical of greyhound racing. It is an exploitative industry. They are bound to dislike it strongly. They say that the greyhound is treated like a machine. The dogs spend 23 hours a day confined to cramped cages or kennels and then they are wheeled out onto the track in an explosive exertion of energy for a few minutes.
Greyhound racing dogs start racing at 18-months-of-age and many don’t make it to retirement at the age of four or five. They are often injured. One organisation GREY2K recorded more than 15,000 injuries including severe injuries such as broken backs, broken legs, electrocution and head trauma between January 2008 and April 2018 (USA?). Although PETA state that the injuries are likely to be far higher.
More than 1,000 greyhounds died on racing tracks since 2008 (believed in the US). In Florida, PETA states that records show that a greyhound died on the track every three days on average.
For example, a three-year-old greyhound named LNB Night Mare was electrocuted when she collided with another dog and crashed onto the electrified rail in March 2014 at Tucson Greyhound Park in Arizona.
Greyhounds are forced to race in extreme conditions despite the fact that they lack body fat and have thin coats and therefore are more likely to suffer. They are sometimes drugged to improve their racing and females are often injected with steroids to prevent them from going to eat. Cocaine has been found at greyhound tracks.
I can go on and on. There are so many abuses listed by PETA. Yes, some greyhounds retire nicely and are beautifully looked after by their loving care givers. Of course, there are many dogs who enjoy this but the problem is that there are far too many don’t because this is a commercial enterprise. Money and animal welfare don’t really go together that well, do they?
Fortunately, greyhound racing in a dying industry. Please click on this link to read what PETA has to say about the industry.