We are often asked the below questions by members of the public, so we have provided some answers to help those who are undecided about attending a night out at the dogs.
Most people who attend tracks just visit for a bit of fun, some have no inclination of what they are supporting, yet others may simply not care.
Ime guessing you are someone who cares to know the truth, otherwise you would not have read this far.Q) Greyhounds are intelligent animals and make great pets, a Grey will cuddle into your side, show you affection and become a special companion, so why are they treated as livestock rather than the domestic dog?
A) Greyhounds are bred especially for the Racing Industry and not as pets, they are the cogs of the industry and their lives cannot compete with profit made by the Racing Industry. It is because of the mass breeding, the supply and demand, that these innocent dogs are expelled from the mouth of the industry before being spat into the knackers yards as waste.
Q) What is a Knackers yard?
A) A knackers yard is where Greyhounds (Livestock) are taken to be disposed of in a more economical way than the humane veterinary euthanasia, they are shot by the lethal Bolt Gun.
Greyhounds and Horses are both treated as livestock after their career is over, some may not even have began their career, they are young and innocent but because they do not perform as required by the money makers their fate is destined with a bolt to the skull. Nobody sees their pain and suffering, it is therefore dismissed and we pretend it does not exist, yet these places exist and the dogs suffer in silence, many will watch their companions die, yet they experience the terror as they watch their friends murdered in cold blood and they know they are next in the firing line, all because they are deemed unsuitable to entertain.
The unlicensed/untrained shooter.A bullet in the head but not so fast when the bolt hits incorrectly because the shooter is untrained/unlicensed or just paid a quick tenner to kill, of course the animal then suffers the consequences of a law that allows the destruction of Greyhounds by use of the Captive Bolt Pistol to be used by unlicensed and untrained people, sadly legal in a country that is supposedly believed to have excellent animal welfare laws.
Q) Why are the dogs destroyed?
A) If a puppy isnt fast enough, if it fights with other dogs, if it has an injury it will be taken to its death before even beginning a racing carreer.
If a dog sustains any injury that hinders its performance, if he/she refuses to run, if it is pregnant or just not fast enough, it may be taken to its death as it would be uneconomical to keep a non earner, no longer a working cog in the industry it would be using up resources such as kennel space and food that could be given to another dog of who could be earning money for the profit maker.
Q) Greyhound Racing is a business and it is common knowledge that all businesses put profit first but when its at the expense of the dogs lives is it morally correct? Could this immoral sport not be replaced with one that doesn't exploit animals causing suffering and death?
A) There are many sports that dont exploit animals, it would be much wiser to support alternative sports that would not harm animals than one which permits death and suffering of innocent beings.
Remember animals don't have a voice and cant make the choice, people who enter into dangerous sports can give their consent, they are not forced into performing and if they do not entertain appropriately they are not murdered.
Q) But Greyhounds love to race, dont they?
A) Of course Greyhounds love to run, but there is a difference between them feeling free to run in a field and being encouraged to race on a track. Dogs may seem like they are enjoying to race but we must bare in mind what it seems is not always what it is.
How Greys are encouraged to chase the mechanical lure.
Dogs are starved 24hrs before a race
They may be thrown live bait such as rabbits to encourage kill instinct (blooding) in turn to encourage them to chase the mechanical lure. Blooding is illegal but still goes on.
Dogs are caged and sometimes muzzled for around 23hrs per day or more, they will have lots of pent up energy and mental frustration that needs releasing.
Obviously for these reasons they will look like their enjoying the race.
Q) What happens when they fall on the tracks?
A) Unfortunately falls often happen and are sometimes lethal for the dog and also upsetting for the onlooker who maybe unaware of what can happen.
The tracks are oval to make the race more unpredictable, the first bend being the most dangerous of all and the most likely of where dogs will crowd together at high speeds of around 40mph before bumping into one another and falling. From a broken toe to a broken neck these falls often kill. Every stadium must abide by the law in having a freezer to store Greyhound carcasses, if the owner decides to euthanise the dog because he/she feels the injury as small as it is, will hinder the dogs career then it is their call to decide on permitting the track vet to euthanise the dog while still at the track. Once again the dogs fate will be decided and usually with profit in mind.
Q) What about the Greyhounds who are rehomed?
A) Because of the vast number of Greys bred each year by the industry, it would be impossible to rehome them all, hence many are killed and until the general public stop supporting the industry the problem will not be resolved.
Many of the Greys that are rehomed bare some scars from their racing years, they may have injuries to their tales where they have been caught in the traps, they may have scars around their noses from wire muzzles that have been used, they may have gum disease or serious tooth decay because glucose powder was rubbed into their gums to help them run faster, they may have had broken bones that have been left without surgery, they may have been given illegal drugs that have left them with organ damage which will cut their lives shorter. They may lack confidence and show signs of depression, some are given away free by the industry and sadly fall into the hands of neglectful and uncaring owners who cause further abuse.
Q) The big question is will you support the Racing Industry with your money?