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US racing greyhounds ‘also suffer’

RACING GREYHOUNDS in the USA are suffering just as much, if not worse, than many of their British counterparts, according to a report issued via leading UK Greyhound charity Greyhound Action. The difference between the US and the UK however, is that the catalogue of injuries caused to British dogs is not made public.

Tony Peters, Secretary of Greyhound Action said: "The report was sent to us by fellow greyhound protection organisation Grey2K USA. It details the numbers of greyhounds killed and injured at the two Massachusetts dog tracks between 2002 and 2004. The report makes horrific reading, but the situation in the UK is certainly no better.

"Unlike in Massachusetts, the UK greyhound racing industry does not keep a record of injuries (we can only wonder why) and there is no legal requirement for information on injuries to be released to the public."

However, according to experienced greyhound vet Paddy Sweeney, an average of over 10,000 greyhounds per year have suffered injury on British tracks since commercial dog racing began in the UK.

The report reads as follows:

According to a report submitted on July 20th to state lawmakers, nearly 500 racing greyhounds have been injured while competing at Massachusetts racetracks over the past three years.

The document, released by the greyhound protection organisation GREY2K USA, is a compilation of injury records maintained by the Massachusetts State Racing Commission. This is the first public release of this information since the passage of a 2001 state law requiring that area dog tracks report on greyhound injuries.

"This is the first time lawmakers will know what is happening to racing greyhounds in Massachusetts," said GREY2K USA Vice President Christine Dorchak. "It is our hope that this new information will cause them to rethink a cruel industry and support a phase out of dog racing."

According to state records, 481 greyhounds were injured between 2002 and 2004. Reported injures included broken legs, fractures, dislocations, cardiac arrest, spontaneous seizures, sudden collapse before or after racing, spinal cord paralysis, severed tails, bleeding toes, lacerated eyes, a puncture wound and a broken neck. A total of 28 greyhounds died or were reported euthanased.

"Racetrack owners claim this is a safe sport, but the catastrophic injuries described by track vets refute that claim," said Dorchak. "When voters learn the truth about this cruel industry, they will outlaw dog racing."

* Grey2K USA Website: http://www.grey2kusa.org/