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Discussion in 'Introductions' started by Margaret Jones, Apr 24, 2021.
Many people think of greyhounds as athletes and are not aware of their plight.
I have been volunteering for greyhound /lurcher sighthound rescues for over 30 years ...alot of people dont realise how disposable ex racing greyhounds are ....it is getting better with more tracks being closed in this country. ..
There's several petitions to end greyhound racing - I really hope that eventually, it will be banned. I'm sure there are good trainers/owners, but as long as greyhounds past racing age or who never make the grade are treated as disposable (in one way or another), I don't think we should allow the situation to continue.
It was a love and concern for greyhounds which first drew me to sighthounds. We were staunch supporters of Greyhound Rescue West of England which has evolved to Forever Hounds. Unfortunately we couldn’t adopt a greyhound at first as we were both working but fate threw us a curved ball - we found an abandoned lurcher puppy on the road which, according to people au fait which such situations, had been discarded by travellers. Fortunately neighbours had just taken residence next door and they were able (and willing) to look in on the pup when we were at work. We haven’t looked back - since Poppy we’ve taken on Blue and Mabel, both whippets. What tears me up is the attitude of some that greyhounds and other sighthounds are a commodity with a short lived monetary value. As soon as money enters the arena the welfare and wellbeing of the animal takes second place - the tales from the situation in Ireland as well as the U.K. and Spain is abhorrent to anyone who has an ounce of humanity. It would be great to have the ‘sport’ much better legislated. If it could be made illegal would be even better but there’d be concerns re driving it underground - there’ll always be low lives out there. Yes, I’d support any cause which would benefit sighthounds. Well, that’s done bog all for my blood pressure!
IMO we should deal with the unsatisfactory trainers rather than tar all with the same brush. I have had a fair bit to do with racing and coursing greyhounds and don't for a moment say there are no problems, but there are good trainers too. Similarly I see lousy pet owners all the time but would not call for pet ownership being banned. We have to be careful what we ban and it is far wiser to make changes instead.
If there were only show greyhounds, then we have lost the real dog. Show greyhounds seen now are out of proportion in conformation and could not do a real greyhound's job. If we lose the greyhound professionals, including the specialist vets, we lose a lot of knowledge on how to keep running dogs fit and healthy. Let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater.
Though we need the support of the government and the greyhound racing industry to make that happen, and so far, I don't think enough action has been taken. Unfortunately, it's difficult to get data - one thing you can be sure of, if you google 'greyhound racing' + 'the facts', what you get back will be anything but facts, whatever side if the fence it's on.
@Hemlock puts things into words far better than I ever could. Don't tar all with the same brush because it's wrong to do so. It's the same with lurchers, it's always people who work their dogs that get targeted. Yet the vast amount of lurchers are kept as pets in the UK. So its odds on alot of them waiting to be rehomed in rescue will be like any other dogs waiting .. unwanted pets and not all ex working dogs.
There are some interesting answers here but are people aware that over 40% of greyhounds bred for racing are killed? and on learning this would you still agree it shouldn't be banned?
Do you have a reliable source for that? I'm not disputing it, but as I said, objective facts are very hard to find, and the truth is twisted by people on both sides. Then, of course, people believe what they want to believe, because that's human nature.
I'd never tar a whole industry with the same brush, same as I wouldn't think bad of anyone who worked their lurchers - Jasper came from a working background and his breeder loved and cared for her dogs. But as far as I can ascertain, there is enough bad in the greyhound industry that it must be stopped somehow, even at the cost of losing the whole industry if that's the only way. It's be much better to be able to keep it going with far tighter controls, though.
The logistics, though - a greyhound breeder breeds a litter of, say, 9 pups. Even assuming all go into racing, in 3-4 years' time, that's 9 dogs that are no longer earning their keep. Maybe some owners keep them on as pets, but if not, that's an awful lot of dogs going up for adoption.
Judy 'yes' the source is Preferred Results Limited as they conducted a report for the GRI 'the industries own governing body in Ireland. Over 80% of greyhounds raced in Great Britain are bred in Ireland as 6000 are imported each year. Basically Ireland are the breeding ground and we are their motive for culling the surplus dogs.
Thank you Margaret, I'll check it out.
I think in the interests of balance, we also need to know how many pet dogs are killed over the same period of time. Also how many pet dogs are kept in woeful conditions all their lives. Good racing kennels keep their dogs in clean conditions, properly fed and exercised, groomed and massaged daily, seen at once by a vet if they need it. Every one of us knows of pet dogs that live shut in the kitchen all week, maybe walked once at the weekend if it isn't raining. Have coats that need frequent grooming but don't get it. Need to see the vet but it's "too expensive". Fed on rubbish food because it's cheap. Made to endure all sorts of flaky human behaviour and hit if they indicate they don't like it. Do we want to ban pet ownership? Do we seek to stop good owners having dogs because of the bad ones? Should we?
Fair point, Hemlock. Though I still feel that the greyhound industry of necessity produces too many 'spares', and breeders have to take responsibility for the whole of the dog's life - is it right to produce dogs you know will be put up for adoption at some point and if not, what is the answer?
Maybe we just need tighter legislation and checks, so a dog can be traced from cradle to grave, and if it 'disappears', someone is answerable.
Pet dogs aren't generally kept in the dozens where as there is no limit to how many dogs a trainer keeps or any requirement to have staff per number of dogs. These dogs earn run money so it's not in the interest of the trainer to keep them in good condition. Grades are being added which indicates dogs are running slower or with injuries because the trainers are under pressure to provide as many dogs as possible to fill races for the bookmakers.
If it was a case of under 20 dogs per trainer and 'less of more dogs you race more you earn' , maybe the dogs would he better taken care of by those who get greedy for a monthly bonus based on how much their dogs run and how many they can provide regardless of any becoming lame. It's not like we can't see how these dogs are walking whilst being paraded on TV before a race. Also where is a trackside vet when needed, and trainers or kennel hands are carrying injured dogs off after a fall and likely exacerbating injuries? Why are regulators allowed to have vested interest and are also doing nothing about the raced dogs who are sent to China or Pakistan where there is no care for welfare laws? I think it's too broken to fix.
With respect, I've clearly had more to do with greyhounds in UK than you realise. I can't speak for greyhounds or any other aspect of animal welfare in other countries. I've also been involved with retired greyhounds. As with any industry involving animals you get the odd bad apple, and I agree these should be dealt with robustly. UK tracks have a vet present, and my own vet worked at greyhound tracks for a number of years.
I have seen some shocking things done in dog rescues in UK. I would not tar all with the same brush.
And we do need to take into account pet dogs, because that gives balance, as does knowledge of the huge number of pet dogs in UK that are killed or badly treated because their owners lack commitment or common sense. This can be a great discussion as long as we have that balance.
All I can go by are the things I've seen with my own eyes,not just things that are posted on the Internet which can be tilled one way or the other.
The greyhound kennels I've been to have been spot on. The kennel its self was more than adequate for any dog, my own dog doesn't have a bed made up of 5 quilts. The paddocks were 10 times bigger than most rescues require for adoption. A sand training track which is the safest surface for any sighthound to run on. I've never seen or heard of any greyhound trainer feeding the dogs wagg or bakers, the cheap dog food alot of dogs are fed on.
At the track I've seen every dog inspected by a vet before it raced and that includes teeth inspection. After the race the dogs are washed and cleaned so they dont have any sand in their paws and checked over.
All this is what I've seen with my own eyes and not just hear say. Like anything to do with dogs in general there are good and bad. The majority are good, any bad ones and i will be the first in the cue to nail them to the barn door. I can't say what happens in other countries all this is what I've seen in the UK.
Unfortunately you are quoting what you see with your own eyes whilst the dog racing industry fails to be transparent and on the basis of the kennels you have visited whereas there are over 700 kennels in the UK not including the breeding kennels in Ireland where 83% of British greyhounds are imported from. A couple of kennels keeping their dogs in standard conditions does not validate what is happening widespread. If you had a t very least visited 50% of these kennels, maybe it could justify your statement. Although kennel conditions do matter, what is more important is the culling of 6000 greyhounds per year and those killed at tracks amounting to approximately 43% of all bred greyhounds being destroyed for people to sustain a living or hobby, however its perceived.
I daresay a higher percentage of pet dogs are killed within the same timescale, but it would be difficult to get the figures due to client confidentiality on the part of vets and lack of transparency on the part of some dog rescues. I've seen some shockers with the latter, but I don't claim that they are all bad. Much better to tackle the places that need to improve rather than ban pet ownership and dog rescue kennels.
Have you personally visited (50%) 350 greyhound kennels to validate your statements.?
I have had some good experiances with exracing rescue kennels