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The Greyhound Industry

Recent figures estimated that around 18,000 healthy greyhounds are killed each year. The reason? They don’t make the cut. They are not fast enough. Not strong enough. Not big enough, or tough enough to endure the training regimes and lifestyles inflicted on them by their trainers and/or owners. These are gentle, loving creatures that are being mistreated and put to death because of a cruel, profit-driven industry. Whichever way you look at it, it’s a disgusting, vile industry.

The other day I saw an article in the paper about a man who had made a lot of money from racing his greyhounds. He was standing with his dogs in front of his house, a large swimming pool and nice car in the background. The article was obviously trying to present a balanced view of the industry. This trainer had only a few dogs – the article implied they were well fed and cared for. The trainer said he felt ‘proud’ of his dogs.

But however well fed these dogs were or however proud he felt of them, what he is doing can’t be justified in a society that claims to be a nation of dog lovers. These animals are being exploited solely for human benefit and that is exactly what this man is doing. And when they fail to benefit the human any more, they are discarded.   

When they are no longer ‘useful’ to the owner, they are murdered.  If the greyhound is lucky, they will be taken to the vet to be murdered, or sometimes they have their blood drained, to be used for other purposes, until the dog dies. Many of them are used as specimens for vet students in Australia’s universities.

Most people that breed and keep greyhounds for the purposes of racing them couldn’t care less about the dogs. They couldn’t care that greyhounds have emotions and that they might be scared. They don’t take the time to give them the things that any dog needs to be physically and emotionally healthy and happy, like regular attention and socialisation. They are usually kept locked in concrete kennels every day of their life unless they are training or racing.  These people don’t care if they breed too many dogs, because they are a disposable commodity.

In most cases, when an injury occurs, whether on or off the track, trainers simply don’t get the dogs the medical treatment required.  They leave injuries untreated and the greyhound in immense pain. Or they shoot them in the head, bury them alive, starve them to death, or any number of other completely unacceptable and disgusting practises.  This is happening every day in Australia, and nothing is being done about it.

I know it would be easier not to write this post.  Just let things go by.  Who cares really and it’s not the kind of thing everyone wants to hear. But I can't let it go by, it's something I strongly believe in.

See, the thing is, these dogs don’t have a choice. They can’t choose whether they want to race or not, be injected with drugs that make them run faster, or choose not to be ‘blooded’. They don’t choose to die if they don’t race fast enough. By allowing greyhound racing to remain a sport, supported by the state and federal government, we are all making these choices for them.

Mass killings and cruelty have been the norm in the greyhound racing industry for far too long, ignored because of the money it makes. But dogs are living, intelligent animals. We can’t allow people to value profit over their wellbeing.

 

Posted: 16/12/2015 9:16:28 PM by Eve McKenzie

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