The greyhound, which normally weighs in at between 50 to 80 pounds (22-36 kg), is the fastest dog on the planet and can achieve an eye-watering maximum speed of 45 miles per hour (70 km/h).
Commercial greyhound racing exists in seven countries at nearly 125 tracks worldwide.
1 First invented in the United States, commercial racing is typically characterized by a regulating authority, state-sanctioned gambling, an industrialized breeding apparatus, a greyhound tattoo identification system, organized kennel operations, and a network of racetracks. Dog racing is currently legal in the United States, Australia, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and Vietnam.
2 Even within these jurisdictions, commercial racing has been outlawed in many states, most recently Florida in the USA.
3 Non-commercial dog racing is also known to exist in twenty-one countries,
4 Greyhound racing is cruel and inhumane Each year, the greyhound industry worldwide breeds at least 7,000 greyhound litters for the sole purpose of gambling.
5 This amounts to a minimum of 42,000 greyhound pups per year, including the thousands who never get named and are omitted from industry record keeping. Though not every jurisdiction functions identically, racing greyhounds are subject to practices that are cruel and inhumane: lives of confinement, serious racing injuries, and the threat of “culling” at every stage of life.
Tens of thousands of dogs are bred for this cruel industry The majority of racing greyhounds are bred in Ireland, Australia, and the United States, respectively. Each jurisdiction breeds thousands of greyhounds per year for its own tracks, and supplies secondary jurisdictions with thousands of dogs as well. Ireland reported 2,324 litters in 2019.
6 Using the conservative estimate of six pups per litter, the industry bred approximately 13,944 greyhounds that year. In 2015, the most recent year of reported registrations, 8,344 of an estimated 13,184 available greyhounds were registered to race, both for commercial racing and hare coursing.
7 Approximately 6,250 greyhounds that are bred in Ireland are exported to the UK each year, sold for prices that are 50% the cost of production.
8 Each year, some 6,000 excess Irish greyhounds are known to be culled.
9 Additionally, older racing greyhounds have been known to be exported to Argentina, Pakistan, and Spain — all countries where dogs are routinely killed and discarded.
10 Australia reported 3,006 litters in 2015.
11 Using the conservative estimate of six pups per litter, the industry bred approximately 18,036 greyhounds that year. In 2015 only 11,732 were registered to race, a a discrepancy of 6,304 dogs.
12 Australia regularly sends greyhounds to New Zealand, having exported 923 greyhounds between 2016 and 2019.
13 In addition, it is estimated that since 2011, Australian trainers have also exported over 1,700 dogs to mainland China, Macau, and Vietnam, jurisdictions with no animal welfare laws in place.
14 The United States reported 1,405 litters in 2017. Again using the conservative estimate of six pups per litter, the industry bred approximately 8,430 greyhounds in that year. In 2017, 7,181 were registered to race. The US exports both young and old dogs to Mexico, where they race at the Agua Caliente race track, often every other day, an unusually high rate by industry averages.
15 Greyhounds endure lives of confinement The vast majority of commercial racing greyhounds endure lives of terrible confinement. Dogs live in warehouse-style kennels, side by side, and in jurisdictions like the US, in stacked cages. They are confined for long hours each day with bedding that ranges from carpet scraps and shredded newspaper to burlap sacks.
16 Greyhounds are “turned out” two to five times per day, depending on the jurisdiction. At the Canidrome in Macau, dogs were let out twice a day to relieve themselves but stayed in their cages for upwards of twenty-three hours a day.
17 In the United States, dogs are confined for twenty hours or more with intermittent turn outs and races about once every four days.
18 Kennels vary widely across jurisdictions. In Macau, the greyhound kennel compounds were fifty-yearold sparse concrete structures with metal bars or fencing to contain the dogs, two-thirds of which “would fail to meet the minimum size for a racing kennel in Australia.”
19 In the US, there are two standard cage sizes, 49”-36”-35” and 43”-30”-32”. The latter is barely large enough for some greyhounds to stand up or turn around.
20 Greyhounds suffer serious injuries while racing At dog tracks worldwide, greyhounds routinely suffer serious injuries. However, only a few jurisdictions regularly publish injury data. The racing commissions of the American states of Arkansas, Iowa, Texas, and West Virginia produce injury data subject to public request, and the Australian state of New South Wales started publishing injury data in late 2015. Reported injuries include broken legs, crushed skulls, seizures, paralysis, broken backs, and death by electrocution. In the United States, more than 10,000 injuries were reported from January 2010 to December 2019.
21 Of these injuries, over 400 resulted in death.
22 In Florida, only one track was required to report injuries but Sanford-Orlando Kennel Club closed in March 2020. In Australia, only one state racing body, New South Wales, has published injury records. These identify a total of 6,057 documented injuries from January 2016 to June 2018, 506 of which resulted in death.
23 New South Wales discontinued publishing injury reports after the second quarter of 2018. Aggregate injury reporting does appear in official inquiries from time to time. The Australian state of Tasmania commissioned a report from the industry entitled “Review of Arrangements for Animal Welfare in the Tasmanian Greyhound Racing Industry.” In it, the authors stated that “[Tasmanian] stewards notified 274 injuries, 14 euthanised” from January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2014.
24 In the United Kingdom, the Greyhound Board of Great Britain was not required to report injuries until 2017. Between 2017 and 2018, 9,800 greyhound injuries were documented, including 499 track fatalities. Australia, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, Vietnam, and the US state of Florida do not publish injury data.
25 Death is a common fate for greyhounds Death is an all-too-common fate for racing greyhounds. Dogs that aren’t fast enough or have sustained a severe injury are removed from the racing pool. At best, this situation can result in physical rehabilitation and adoption, but far too often owners and trainers turn to euthanasia and even unsanctioned killings as cheap alternatives. In Australia, an internal industry memo from Greyhounds Australasia CEO Scott Parker stated that as many as 17,000 healthy greyhounds are killed each year.
26 The 2016 “Special Commission of Inquiry into the Greyhound Racing Industry” found that at least 50% of the greyhounds whelped were deliberately killed for not being fast enough, and that 40% of greyhounds whelped never make it to the track.
27 In New South Wales, Australia, a 2016 Parliamentary investigation revealed evidence that suggests as many as 68,448 greyhounds had been killed over a twelve-year period because “they were considered too slow to pay their way or were unsuitable for racing.”
28 A few days after this analysis was released, a greyhound mass grave was discovered at the Keinbah Trial Track near Cessnock.
29 Almost 100 greyhounds had been killed there “with a blow to the head, from either a gunshot or a blunt instrument.”
30 In 2017/18 and 2018/19, an estimated 4,000 greyhounds disappeared annually in New South Wales. This estimate represents the thousands of greyhounds difference between the number of greyhounds due for retirement and the much smaller number of greyhounds that are rehomed.
31 In Victoria, Australia, the racing body released its Annual Report for 2015/16 which revealed that 3,157 greyhounds had been euthanized during the year.
32 Greyhound Racing Victoria also indicated that an even higher number had been euthanized in years prior.
33 Annual Reports for the years 2016/17-2018/19 reveal an additional 3,206 greyhounds were destroyed trackside over three years.
34 In Queensland, Australia, a mass grave was discovered by the Greyhound Racing Industry Task Force in Bundaberg.
35 Investigators discovered fifty-five greyhound skeletons of dogs which “may have been beaten to death.”
36 Two months later, a Queensland government inquiry into greyhound racing found that the “wastage rate” within the greyhound industry was unacceptably high.
37 The inquiry demonstrated that between 2003 and 2013 the greyhound industry produced a surplus of “7,263 (average of 660 per year) or 30 per cent of [all] greyhounds whelped.”
38 The report described these extra greyhounds as “unaccounted for.”
39 A November 2018 ABC report revealed that hundreds of Queensland greyhounds continue to be killed. In the 2017/18 financial year, 446 greyhounds were euthanized, and an estimated 7,000 greyhounds were unaccounted for.
40 In Tasmania, Australia, an industry report entitled “Review of Arrangements for Animal Welfare in the Tasmanian Greyhound Racing Industry” found that during the 2013/14 racing season and the 2014/15 racing season, 753 greyhounds were killed by both the industry and by the industry rehoming program itself.
41 In the years 2016/17-2018/19, an additional 764 greyhounds were euthanized or died.
42 In South Australia, Australia, Greyhound Racing SA released a media statement under pressure from the public in September 2016. In it, the CEO admitted that in the last fiscal year 2015/16, 535 greyhounds were euthanized or died.
43 From 2016/17-2018/19, 772 greyhounds were euthanized or died.
44In New Zealand, the National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee assesses that as many as 300 greyhounds are euthanized each year.
45 The 2017 “Report to New Zealand Racing Board on Welfare Issues Affecting Greyhound Racing in New Zealand” found that 1,447 greyhounds were euthanized between 2013-2014 and 2016- 2017.
46Annual Reports from 2017/18 and 2018/19 reveal that 650 greyhounds have been destroyed over two years.
47 In Ireland, 6,000 greyhounds are killed each year for not being fast enough.
48 Between 2015 and 2018, an additional 506 greyhounds were killed at Irish tracks.
49 In the United Kingdom, building merchant David Smith was discovered in 2006 to have killed an estimated 10,000 greyhounds in his backyard with a bolt gun.
50 He was paid £10 per dog and buried them in a pit on his property.
51 In addition to 499 track fatalities, between 2017 and 2018, 1,533 greyhounds were reported euthanized for other reasons such as treatment costs or being designated as unsuitable for rehoming.
52 The full extent of greyhound deaths may never be known, but the current figures confirm a grim reality: thousands upon thousands of greyhounds are euthanized or destroyed each year because it is expedient for industry participants to do so. Hundreds of cases of cruelty and neglect have been documented around the world The worldwide commercial racing industry has a well-documented history of animal welfare issues and abuse. These include starvation, drugging, mutilation, and abandonment. • On May 5, 2017, Florida investigators conducted an inspection of Blanchard Kennels, owned and operated by National Greyhound Association (NGA) Director James Blanchard. Blanchard initially advised his staff to refuse entry, although investigators were eventually allowed to inspect the kennels. They discovered three greyhounds with expired vaccination records and an additional 43 greyhounds missing proof of vaccinations. Blanchard was also unable to provide a kennel roster for greyhounds in either of his two kennel buildings, and could not produce dates of receipt and release, greyhound names, tattoo numbers, names of owners, names of trainers, nor the names and license numbers for those transporting the greyhounds.
53 • In January of 2017 in South Australia, greyhound handler Tony Rasmussen was televised sexually stimulating a greyhound before a race, which resulted in a $1,000 fine.
54 • In October of 2016, Florida kennel operator Michael Klingbeil discovered his greyhound BC Diablo Sam looking “lethargic, drawn, and dehydrated” prior to a race. Instead of seeking veterinary care or withdrawing his dog from the race, he administered his own medical care and raced the dog anyway. After the race, BC Diablo Sam was found dead in his crate. Though he was originally charged with failing to treat his dog humanely, he and Florida regulators agreed to a stipulated order in which he only acknowledged wrongfully possessing a hypodermic needle.
55 • In July of 2016, in New South Wales, Australia, kennel operator Robert Newstead was caught on film using an electric cattle prod on a greyhound before a race, an action which resulted in a 15-month suspension.
56 • In April of 2016, West Virginia kennel operator Taylor Jones was found keeping greyhounds in very dirty conditions. Greyhounds were sleeping in wet urine-soaked beds, and she was found to be keeping restricted medical supplies in her kennel. For all of this, Jones was given a warning.
57 • On December 9, 2015, ABC’s 7.30 program aired an investigation into greyhound exports from Australia to China and Vietnam in which reporters uncovered a 100% death rate for these greyhounds.
58 Since 2001, at least 3,500 greyhounds have been exported to Macau from the Australian state of Victoria alone.
59 • On February 16, 2015, ABC’s Four Corners program released “Making a Killing,” a damning exposé into the widespread practice of livebaiting in Australia.
60 Small animals like piglets, opossums and rabbits were routinely used as lures to ‘blood’ the greyhounds by some of the country’s most prominent industry participants.
61 • On November 3, 2014, BBC Panorama released an undercover report of race fixing in the greyhound racing industry in Great Britain. Trainer Chris Mosdall openly admitted to doping dogs to fix races, slowing them down with drugs for several races until the betting odds became highly profitable at which point he would enter them without.
62 • On October 27, 2014, French port authorities discovered the bodies of eleven Irish greyhounds who had suffocated in the cargo hold of the ferry Oscar Wilde.
63 They were being exported from Ireland to Spain by way of France.
64 • On March 6, 2013, 3 News of New Zealand released its program “Let Me Entertain You” during which several industry participants admitted to the killing of hundreds of healthy greyhounds.
65 The reporter also called into question the use of the word “retired” as a euphemism for “euthanized.”
66 • On April 10, 2012 in County Limerick, Ireland, six greyhounds were found dead, after having been shot in the head and dumped in a quarry.
67 The dogs were traced back to their owner John Corkerey, who admitted he had arranged to destroy the dogs after a poor performance at their racing trials.
68 • On October 29, 2010, Florida’s Division of PariMutuel Wagering investigators reported the discovery of thirty-two grossly emaciated dead dogs and five barely alive at the Ebro dog track.
69 Kennel operator Ronald John Williams was charged with thirty-seven counts of felony animal cruelty.
70 The bodies of eight more dead dogs were found at Williams’s home, bringing the total up to forty.
71 Greyhounds test positive for serious drugs Greyhounds routinely test positive for serious, prohibited drugs. Doping agents like cocaine, EPO, morphine, and amphetamines are found in greyhounds with alarming regularity. Though the industry often chalks up these occurrences to tainted food or the actions of a few bad apples, the doping problem runs deep in the racing culture. The Association of Racing Commissioners International, an industry group that works to promote integrity in the horse and greyhound racing business, includes nearly 900 prohibited drugs on its official control list.
72 Five racing countries have regulatory frameworks in place to handle drug screening — the US, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, the UK.
73 These industry organizations are responsible for finding and handling drug violations. Since 2008, GREY2K USA Worldwide has obtained 586 drug-related rulings from American racetracks.
74 Racing greyhounds have tested positive for a variety of serious drugs including cocaine and oxycodone.
75 Additionally, greyhound trainers have themselves tested positive for cocaine and marijuana, and drug paraphernalia for both dogs and humans has been confiscated in Melinda Finn of Australia was disqualified for doping greyhounds with the hormone EPO. greyhound kennels.
76 In the UK, the Greyhound Board of Great Britain has published hundreds of greyhound positives since 2009, sixty-one alone in contract year 2017/18.
77 These include stanozolol, barbiturates, and morphine.
78 Stanozolol is a synthetic anabolic steroid and has been banned for its performanceenhancing influence. Barbiturates are central nervous system depressants and are serious performance-affecting drugs. Morphine has been used as a masking agent in greyhounds to make dogs less aware of any injuries they may have. In Scotland, a December 2016 newspaper investigation found that race fixing with drugs occurred with regularity at the non-registered “flapping” tracks.
79 A trainer admitted to giving his dog valoids to slow him down, waiting a few races until the betting odds became favorable, then taking him off the drugs to result in a faster race pace.
80 Scottish greyhounds have continued to be drugged: one trainer’s greyhounds tested positive for cocaine and a betablocker in March 2019.
81 Altogether, twenty-eight drug positives have occurred at Shawfield Stadium since 2009, including five for cocaine.
82 In Ireland, the Irish Greyhound Board has posted 200 greyhound drug positives since 2012 in the form of Control Committee Reports and Adverse Analytical Findings.
83 These include cocaine, amphetamine, and pentobarbital positives.
84 While cocaine and amphetamine are known as dangerous performance-enhancing drugs, pentobarbital is a performance-reducing drug. In large doses, it has been used for both animal and human euthanasia and appears in nearly 20% of all IGB drug positives.
85 In New Zealand, the Racing Integrity Unit found thirty-nine greyhound drug positives from 2014 to 2019.
86 According to New Zealand’s Judicial Control Authority, some of these positives were morphine.
87 Additionally, two greyhound trainers tested positive for cannabis.
88 In Australia, each state and territory has a regulatory agency. These agencies have reported hundreds of greyhound drug positives since 2008. In Queensland, greyhounds have tested positive for amphetamine, morphine, and pentobarbitone, a fast-acting barbiturate.
89 In New South Wales, greyhounds have tested positive for EPO, amphetamine, and codeine.
90 Between 2015 and April 2018, 201 greyhounds tested positive for drugs in New South Wales.
91 In Victoria, eight greyhounds tested positive for codeine and morphine in 2016.
92 In Tasmania, greyhounds have tested positive for caffeine and cobalt.
93 In South Australia, greyhounds have tested positive for amphetamine and cobalt.
94 Additionally, greyhounds in Australia test positive for unusual drugs. In Queensland, a greyhound tested positive for Desvenlafaxine, a drug normally used to treat depression and which isn’t used at all in veterinary medicine.
95 In Western Australia, a greyhound tested positive for Fertagyl, a drug normally used in cows to control estrus cycles.
96 Gambling on greyhounds is declining Greyhound wagering is on the decline. Total wagering, also known as the handle or turnover, is an industry metric that gauges public interest in a particular gambling sector. For example, in the last ten years, wagering on greyhound racing in Ireland and the US has diminished by hundreds of millions of dollars. Australia is the lone country where wagering on greyhound racing is steadily increasing, and the $3.14 billion (AUD4.99 billion) wagered on Australian racing in 2018 accounts for over half of the $6.04 billion worldwide greyhound handle. However, the 3.45% increase in wagering from 2018 to 2019 represents the lowest annual growth rate since all six major territories began reporting turnover figures in 2013.
97 In Ireland, the Irish Greyhound Board reported $25.14 million (€23.72 million) in total racing turnover in 2018, a decline of 27.83% since 2010.
98 In Macau’s final full year of racing, 2017, $26.16 million (MOP218 million) was wagered, a decline of 86.86% from its peak in 2010.
99 Between 2016 and 2018, turnover in New Zealand has registered between $233 million and $257 million (NZD382 million and NZD421 million) each year.
100 In the United States, $468.91 million was wagered in 2018, a reduction of 31.8% since 2010. In the United Kingdom, $2.14 billion (£1.7 billion) was wagered in 2018, amounting to just more than a third of worldwide handle. Turnover declined to $2.06 billion (£1.64 billion) in 2019, a decline of 3.66% from 2018. Given that the UK has observed an average annual rate of inflation of 2.9% between 2010 and 2019, if the greyhound betting industry had kept pace, turnover would be at $2.4 billion (£1.93 billion). Instead, turnover is stagnant, and lagging behind the rate of inflation by hundreds of millions of dollars. British greyhound wagering is also trending away from on course and off course betting at the track and betting shops, and towards internet wagering. This shift has resulted in a reduction in gross gambling yield, the amount retained by gambling operators, that significantly outpaces the downturn in overall wagering. This occurs because gambling operators retain a lower percentage of the turnover when bets are placed remotely.
101 Greyhound racing is a dying industry The greyhound racing industry is dying. Around the world, dozens of tracks have closed and continue to close. Fewer than 125 commercial tracks currently exist, and more are slated to close in the near future.
102 This decline is the result of increased public awareness that dog racing is cruel and inhumane, coupled with competition from other, faster forms of gambling including internet wagering. Since GREY2K USA Worldwide began its US campaign in 2001, thirty-nine American dog tracks have closed or ceased live racing.
103 Most recently, Florida became the forty-first state to outlaw dog racing outright.
104 Once numbering over 100, Australia’s tracks have continued to close. Today, the country has sixtyfour greyhound tracks, the most recent one closing in April 2018.
105 New Zealand once operated thirteen tracks and now maintains only seven.
106 The UK once had at least seventy-seven licensed tracks.
107 Now only twenty-four operate there, with Peterborough having closed in May 2020.
108 In London itself, once the home of over thirty greyhound stadiums, the last track at Plough Lane held its final race in March 2017.
109 Wimbledon will now be used as a soccer stadium.
110 In China, the Canidrome was ordered to close by the Macau government.
111 This was the only legal dog track in the entire country. Greyhound racing and its attendant cruelties violate the values of our world community and should be prohibited.
Non-Commercial Dog Racing
There are currently 21 countries in which non-commercial greyhound racing takes place. GREY2K USA Worldwide does not currently have a position for or against non-commercial dog racing, and this data is presented for informational purposes only.
At least 31 countries/territories conduct greyhound simulcasting. Greyhound tracks broadcast their races to locations across the world, where bettors are able to place wagers on those greyhound races remotely.
Antigua - Argentina - Aruba -
Columbia - Costa Rica - Dominican Republic - Ecuador -El Salvador - England -
Austria - Australia - Bahamas - Brazil - Chile - Germany - Mexico - Netherlands - New Zealand - Isle of Man - Panama - Peru - South Africa - Spain - St. Croix - St. Kitts St. - Marten - St. Thomas - Trinidad & Tobago - United States of America - Uruguay - Venezuela
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