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US Greyhound bill becomes law


GREYHOUNDS ARE now legally classified as "livestock" and may be ‘culled’ by being shot by any individual if they deem their usefulness to be at an end. As reported in a recent issue, Greyhound rescue organisations and dog lovers across the world were outraged by the Bill proposed in the USA by the Alabama Legislature which effectively legitimises the culling of Greyhounds by any person who chooses to do so.

Despite a flurry of protests from across the world, the State Governor Bob Riley signed House This means that culling Greyhounds by shot or fatal injection can be undertaken by any unlicensed individual, rather than by veterinary professionals, who are, of course, bound by a code of ethical conduct.

The bill, drafted by Representative James Buskey of Mobile also prescribed lethal injection as the method of killing greyhounds. But the Bill does not specify what injection substance can or cannot be used.

Baldwin County District Attorney David Whetstone who was preparing to prosecute a Lillian man Robert Rhodes under the existing statute for killing thousands of greyhounds commented: "The Bill does not allow the dog the privilege of being executed by a vet, anybody can do it! So there are some real problems with this bill."

However, Whestone’s case radically changed when Rhodes, 69 unexpectedly died on June 30th. The case is now going to try to focus on holding responsible the trainers and owners that paid for Rhodes to take the greyhounds from Florida to shoot the dogs in Alabama.

Rhodes confessed to killing more than 2,000 greyhound dogs which came out of the State of Florida by shooting them with .22 calibre rifle. Rhodes would bury the greyhounds on his small farm in Lillian, Alabama, using a rented tractor.

A Baldwin County Grand Jury had indicted Mr. Rhodes under Alabama_s Gucci Law for three counts of shooting greyhound dogs. The Grand Jury also indicted four persons in Florida who have been arrested who were part of the racing industry. One of the persons indicted has not been traced.

Whetstone stated, "The death of Mr. Rhodes will have serious impact upon the prosecution of our cases. I have asked my staff to review the law concerning what evidence we can use which came from Mr. Rhodes or from others concerning how these dogs were brought into Alabama from Florida."

Whetstone continued, "The killing fields of Lillian are no more. I am happy that no more dogs are being brought into this State illegally to be killed in this fashion. "I intend to work with the Florida authorities for the next month or so to determine our next effort. I also intend to work with the Alabama Legislature to amend Alabama’s new Greyhound Protection Law so that is truly is a protection law.

"The present legislation effectively reduces a greyhound racing dog to a beast of burden and provides lesser punishment than for the killing of other dogs. I am convinced, with some amendment, the bill will become an important bill for the racing industry as well as for the protection of the greyhound."

To contact the State Governor to register a protest against the Bill, contact: http://www.governor.state.al.us/email/contact_form.htm

To add to the international appeal for support, which is being collated by a local TV reporter, Randy Wood email to: rwood@WKRG.com