Monday, September 1, 2008

Greyhound racing, or, let's take a really crap idea from overseas and inflict it here

This was forwarded to a mailing list I'm on. Please take a moment to read and, should you feel that greyhound racing should remain banned - as I do - please write to Prof Snyman-Van Deventer. Feel free to quote from the Greyhound Crusaders info below.
Greyhound racing research
South African Department of Trade and Industry

26 August 2008

Members of the public who want to submit their inputs regarding the possible legislation of greyhound racing in the country have until the endof October 2008 to do so.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has appointed the University ofthe Free State Faculty of Law, under the supervision of Prof Elizabeth Snyman-Van Deventer, to oversee the process.

Greyhound racing was banned years ago because gambling was regarded as immoral at that time.

Now that gambling has been revisited in the country,there are debates on possible legislation of greyhound racing.

The animal welfare and protection groups are in support of the ban ongreyhound racing, while other role players have been calling for the racingto be reintroduced.

The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty against Animals (NSPCA)says the legalisation and introduction of dog racing into South Africa will result in the suffering, unspeakable living conditions and often untimely and brutal death of thousands of greyhounds.

The research team under Prof Snyman-Van Deventer will hold workshops across the country later this year to gather input from the public. Members of the public can also send their written submissions to Prof Snyman-Van Deventer at 051 401 2698 or send them by e-mail to *** <>*.

For further information, contact Mpho Mosing at 012 394 1504/083 436 5534.

Issued by:Media and Public Relations, the DTI

Director: Sidwell Moloantoa Medupe

Mobile: + 27 (0) 73 522 6801 E-mail:

DTI website:

From a UK-based group:

Why Greyhound Crusaders are so strongly opposed to greyhound racing

Firstly due to the thousands of greyhounds that are destroyed every year once they are retired from racing, average age 3-4 years old. Additionally, thousands of greyhound pups are destroyed each year because they are considered 'unsuitable for racing'. The RSPCA believes: "at least 20 greyhounds a day - either puppies which do not make the track, or 'retired' dogs aged three or four - simply 'disappear', presumed killed" (Please view the recent APGAW (Associate Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare) report at this link:

Also the fact that many greyhounds every year sustain serious, sometimes fatal injuries whilst racing. Additionally, greyhounds have fallen victim to extreme abuse: Greyhounds have been found drowned, poisoned, shot, abandoned, some emaciated, some with their ears hacked off (or burnt off with acid) to remove identifying tattoos. Some greyhounds are subjected to 'drugging' as a way of 'fixing' certain races. Greyhounds taken on by rescuers are often in a poor state of neglect i.e. flea-ridden, worm-ridden, rotten teeth.

We have personally been involved with and assisted others in the rescue of many unwanted racing greyhounds over the past few years and during this time witnessed greyhounds with cigarette burns on their bodies, greyhounds with missing toes due to past injuries, greyhounds who have had to have many of their teeth removed due to previous neglect. Untreated injuries that have poorly healed. The list is endless.

You may have read the horrific story of David Smith from Co. Durham exterminating in the region of 10,000 unwanted greyhounds in a fifteen year period by shooting them callously with a bolt gun and burying them in his back garden. The Sunday Times along with other national newspapers exposed this in 2006.

More recently, the Sunday Times have also exposed two disturbing cases where healthy greyhounds are being sold to veterinary colleges by those involved in the greyhound racing industry, to be exploited for scientific purposes. On Sunday 2nd March 2008, a Sunday Times article exposed the Royal Veterinary College (the oldest and largest veterinary college in Britain) as having an agreement with a greyhound clinic in Essex to buy body parts taken from healthy greyhounds that were being euthanased regularly by the clinic, the healthy greyhounds were being supplied to the clinic by greyhound trainers who no longer had a use for these dogs.

The full article can be viewed here:

On Sunday 11th May 2008, a second article appeared in the Sunday Times, this time exposing Liverpool University's Small Animal Teaching Hospital as being supplied with healthy young greyhounds by the largest greyhound breeder in Britain, a Mr Charles Pickering. Mr Pickering admitted to selling young, perfectly healthy greyhounds who had failed to make the grade (i.e. chose not to chase the artificial hare or considered simply too slow for the tracks) to the university's animal teaching hospital to euthanased and used for scientific research. The article also revealed how greyhound trainer 'Richard Fielding' who was also supplied greyhounds by Mr Pickering, gave his older (still healthy) greyhounds once they retired from racing to the university veterinary staff to be euthanased so their organs could be removed for teaching and research purposes. The full article can be viewed here:

We are sickened and outraged by the appalling atrocities inflicted upon the racing greyhound and this is why we endeavour to educate the general public about the disturbing reality of greyhound racing and why we campaign tirelessly for total abolition.

If you could spare a few moments to please view this short video (volume up), as this supports the many reasons why we are so compelled to be a voice for the greyhounds.

We hope that our correspondence to you today will explain the reasons for our concerns and we would like a ban on greyhound racing for the reasons stated above. Many of the general public are horrified at what happens toman's best friend and it is high time the government did something to stop the thousands of greyhounds being killed every year.

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