By Christine A. Dorchak, President and General Counsel, GREY2K USA Worldwide
Following the release of a heartbreaking expose on the practice of live lure training on greyhound breeding farms, GREY2K USA has just announced the first federal bill to prohibit dog racing. Pet Lifestyles Magazine has endorsed this historic legislation. Public records show that greyhounds used for commercial racing suffer serious injuries including broken backs, broken necks, head trauma, paralysis, seizures and electrocution. While adoption efforts have improved, many dogs simply do not survive their racing career. And now, yet another cruel aspect of this terrible industry has been revealed.
In the spring of 2020, investigators documented a multi-state conspiracy of cruelty involving the torture and killing of innocent rabbits to “blood greyhounds.” In live lure training, small animals are used to excite and enhance a chase instinct in young dogs. Typically, screaming animals are dangled before starving greyhounds, dragged in front of them on ropes, or simply let loose to be attacked. They suffer cruel and miserable deaths. In March, June and July, undercover investigators caught greyhound breeders torturing and sacrificing rabbits in Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas.
On breeding farms across the country, female greyhounds are artificially inseminated and made to pump out litter after litter until they can produce no more. Their little puppies are taken away and kept in outdoor pens. There are no beds for them, no toys and no play. At the age of eighteen months, young dogs are sent out to race, where they face death at every turn. According to state records, thousands of dogs have died or been destroyed post-race at American tracks – all so that someone could place a $2 bet on them. In addition to live lure training, state records also show that adult greyhounds are drugged “grey2kusa.org/about/drugs.php”with cocaine and other narcotics in a misguided attempt to fix races.
The individuals involved in these cruel activities represent a veritable “Who’s Who” of the racing world and nothing short of a nationwide ban will stop their gruesome activities. The Greyhound Protection Act of 2020 has been introduced by Representatives Tony Cardenas of California and Steve Cohen of Tennessee, and has co-sponsors from both major parties. H.R. 7826 makes it a federal crime to engage in live lure training and commercial greyhound racing. Learn more and take action at grey2kusa.org/stopusdogracing.
Formed in February of 2001, GREY2K USA Worldwide is the largest greyhound protection organization in the United States with more than 250,000 supporters. As a non-profit organization, the group promotes the adoption of ex-racers and works to pass laws to end the cruelty of dog racing around the world. With the passage of GREY2K’s ballot question in Florida and their recent closure of China’ only legal dog track, the group is determined to end dog racing everywhere. For more information, go to GREY2KUSA.org or visit GREY2K USA on Facebook or Twitter.
Did you know?
The first recognized commercial greyhound racetrack in the world was built in Emeryville, California in 1919 by Owen Patrick Smith and the Blue Star Amusement Company. The track was oval in design and featured Smith’s new invention, the mechanical lure, thought to offer a more humane alternative to the live lures used in traditional greyhound field coursing. By 1930, sixty-seven dog tracks had opened across the United States — none legal. Florida became the first state to legalize commercial pari-mutuel wagering in 1931, triggering a chain reaction across the globe.
In 2018, our coalition passed Florida’s Amendment 13 to phase out dog racing in its biggest state. The measure was approved on the ballot by a margin of 69% - 31% and dog racing is now illegal in 41 states. We are delighted to see the fight for greyhounds move to the national stage.