Greyhound racing industry
You might have heard about the Greyhound industry, which is thriving in some parts of the world. It is famous globally for its organized, competitive racing of grey hound dogs around a track. The industry attracts millions of dollars in gambling revenue. The sport has had its fair share of controversy owing to the perpetual efforts by various advocacy groups to have it outlawed, citing cruelty to animals.
Issues of barbarism raised by animal rights and welfare groups
Use of live bait
You may be among the people who enjoy watching dogs racing and betting on it. It might seem harmless and even fun to the animals as they chase after a piece of lure to the finish line. Thankfully, the lure used today is a windsock or mechanical hares; in the past, you could have seen live rabbits or hares that could be killed.
The barbarism has ended—at least for the live prey in some countries—but it continues for the dogs. Animal rights groups claim that the greyhounds suffer tooth problems, which arise when they snatch the bait. Although this is controversial, you will agree that the owners of the dogs ought to take care of the animals’ teeth regardless of whether they race or not. Many greyhounds owners also fail to treat the canines for tick-borne diseases and parasites.
Some activists have even claimed that doping is rife in the industry. Many unscrupulous dog owners inject their animals to make enhance their performance and win them more money. The treatment of retired greyhounds should also concern you, as many of them are neglected and left to die after serving their purpose in the racetrack. Many others are euthanized to reduce the cost of care or minimize the burden when the diseases are overwhelming.
Transformation of the greyhound industry
The greyhound industry is facing a decline due to the efforts to transform it to be more humane to all the animals involved. Stiff laws are being enacted worldwide to help protect greyhounds from neglect and abuse. Many countries now require registration of all the greyhounds used for racing. The animals must be vaccinated to guard against disease outbreaks. To prevent doping, the governing authorities in many countries are randomly collecting urine samples and testing them for banned substances.
What can you do?
Some organizations are setting up shelters for neglected greyhounds, most of which are considered too old or noncompetitive. You may want to help by adopting these dogs as pets. These efforts have had great results—the euthanasia rates have sharply declined and the dogs are treated better than before. However, more awareness needs to be raised to ensure the greyhound industry treats dogs humanely, and you should try to be part of the efforts.