Greyhound racing is an organised sport that has greyhound dogs race each other, chasing after cardboard rabbits to win the race against each other.
Greyhound racing has faced a decline over the years, but it still remains a profitable business that revolves around breeding and racing animals, with Greyhounds for sale are available through breeding channels for human entertainment. Animal activists have conducted numerous waves of protests against the practice, deeming it immoral and unethical.
The issue was trending in the early 2000s with a Simpson’s episode even highlighting the cruel, inhumane practices in the greyhound racing industry. Bart Simpson adopts a female greyhound that has been left by its master after he no longer has any use for the aging dog that is unable to breed or race properly. Some may even be injured or killed. Sadly, this is not simply a cartoon fantasy; this is the reality of many animals in the industry.
Here are some the reasons why the practice of greyhound racing and the industry it breeds are unethical and disadvantageous to the dogs.
- Greyhounds are overbred
Overbreeding can have detrimental effects on individual dogs and the species as a whole. Females are left to breed in captivity their whole lives and may be put down or abandoned after they can no longer reproduce. Excessive breeding will have adverse effects on their reproductive organs as well as their mental health because their babies may be separated from them.
- Greyhounds are kept in kennels
Greyhounds are pack animals and need to be social in order for their mental health to thrive. Ravers are often alone in between races, taking a toll on their ability to function. The dogs may then be destructive, aggressive, anxious and stressed.
- Negative effects of racing
Dogs may be killed or injured during races. Safety conditions are not ensured by the owners of the dogs or the organiser of the race. Dogs may get bruises, scratches or even broken bones. Dogs may also be overexerted through continuous and strenuous exercise during training sessions and formal races.
Dogs with health issues or injuries may be left to suffer without treatment. Some owners may view the dog’s worth in terms of simply its utility and its ability to earn the race winnings. Injuries during the race may be left to fester and worsen which negatively impacts the dog’s mental and physical health.
After a dog loses its ability to race, it may be euthanized. During the breeding process, dogs that do not serve a cause may also be euthanized. Injured dogs, sick dogs or disabled dogs may be similarly killed. Euthanasia is usually done through gunshots to the head by the dog handlers, even though euthanasia through humane veterinarian processes may be preferable.
Apart from euthanasia, dogs may be abandoned after they have served their purpose for their owner. Abandonment in tandem with previous abuse can have disastrous consequences for a dog’s mental health.
- Overcrowded vehicles
Vehicles transporting race animals may be overcrowded, overheated and dangerous for the animals. Some even die during the journey as over fifty animals can be transported in vehicles at a time.