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One Step Forward For Greyhound Protection

In mid-January the New Hampshire House of Representatives approved a bill that will establish a record-keeping system for all greyhounds racing in the state. The bill will also require the state to keep records on greyhounds injured while racing.

New Hampshire is one of the few racing states that do not yet have a record-keeping requirement. As a result, the public has no way of knowing what is happening to these gentle dogs.

New Hampshire Rep. Paul LaFlamme sponsored the legislation because he wants to know what happens to greyhounds once their racing days are over.

Greyhound advocates such as GREY2K USA also support the bill, claiming the records will inform the public of the neglect, abuse and killing associated with greyhound racing.

According to the Greyhound Protection League, greyhound racing is not a "sport" about fast dogs, but a state-sanctioned form of gambling ruled by profit. The GPL describes dog racing as a cruel injustice for a gentle and ancient breed of dog once favored by nobility.

"The killing will never stop until people realize that it is the 'business' of greyhound racing which fosters and perpetuates the cruelty, no matter how hard they try to separate themselves from it. And it's just that simple," said Gary E. Dungan, Executive Director of The Humane Society of Tucson, Arizona.

When greyhounds do not run profitably, they are of little further use to the racing business. The GPL estimates that more than 20,000 greyhounds are killed each year by euthanasia, abandonment, starvation, bludgeoning and mass shootings, or are donated to research labs across the country to be tortured, killed and finally stuffed into dumpsters as garbage.
Despite racing industry propaganda, the majority of unwanted greyhounds are not placed as pets - there are simply not enough homes for them all.

The animal cruelty cases reported in the United States involving racing greyhounds are astounding and staggering in number. Only a small percent of all racing dogs actually make it to adoption groups, and the ones that do usually suffer from the effects of neglect and lack of socialization.

"The industry breeds thousands of surplus dogs every year in the effort to produce 'winners' and coldly kills or discards the dogs that don't make it," commented Brian Sodergren, companion animal issues specialist for The Humane Society of the United States.

"This is more than just a case of a few bad apples," said Sodergren. "The industry itself is rotten at the core."

As of September 2003, there were 46 active racetracks operating in 15 states. Over the past decade the greyhound racing industry has seen a dramatic economic decline due to the increased interest in other forms of legalized gambling and a greater awareness of the cruelty of dog racing.

© 2004 Animal News Center, Inc.