Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Dog Racing Declines for Nineteen Years in a Row

Voters outlawed greyhound racing at Raynham Park in 2008
It's a well established fact that greyhound racing is a dying industry. It's worth noting, however, just how long and steep the decline has been. According to new data we have received, gambling on dog racing has now declined for nineteen consecutive years.

The last year that betting on dog races increased was 1991. That is the same year that the number of computers on the internet hit one million for the first time, the average price of gasoline was only $1.12, Nirvana released their landmark album Nevermind, and moviegoers went to see Thelma and Louise. Meanwhile, the Soviet Union broke up and world leaders included George H.W. Bush and Boris Yeltsin. Since 1991, the amount gambled on greyhound races has declined by a staggering 80%.

Commercial dog racing is an anachronism, an industry that the world has passed by. Similarly, industry participants hold views on animal welfare that are outdated. For example, greyhound breeders see nothing wrong with standard practices like the system of confined housing that is used at commercial tracks. Dog race proponents simply don't understand that these cruel practices are throwbacks to a previous time, and go against our mainstream values about the humane treatment of animals.

Change is never easy, but greyhounds deserve better. With each passing year, commercial dog racing is becoming less relevant as an economic and cultural activity. If greyhound advocates continue to work hard and keep the faith, I know that eventually we can end commercial dog racing completely.

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