Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Greyhound Death Pit Exposed in New Zealand

The New Zealand dog racing industry is again under fire, after news program 3rd Degree reported last night that a greyhound death pit was discovered on the property of a notable greyhound trainer. The pit included multiple greyhound bodies that had been burned, and numerous skeletal remains.

The pit was found on the property of Phil Green, a Greyhound Racing New Zealand board member who heads up the industry's supposed welfare committee. As Greyhound Protection League of New Zealand founder Aaron Cross told 3rd Degree, Phil Green is a personification of the industry itself.

In an attempt to defend himself, Green claimed that the dead greyhounds on his property were killed by lethal injection and then burned on site to save money. According to him, the dogs were disposed of in this way because of "economics." He also claimed that he has "respect" for the dogs that were killed and burned on his property:
"I've got nothing but respect for the dogs ... I believe the dogs deserve to die gracefully."
Green also told 3rd Degree that he has become a scapegoat for a practice that is widespread in the racing industry:
"You obtained the footage, and it'll be looked at, and people will put a slant on it, and the general public will perceive it as being horrific."
Of course, this is nothing more than an attempt to rationalize greyhound cruelty. Young healthy dogs do not "deserve to die gracefully." They deserve to live with a family in a loving home. Green's denial is proof that the greyhound racing industry will go to any lengths to defend its inhumane practices. When it comes to commercial dog racing, apparently no one is responsible for its perpetual cycle of suffering and death.

Thankfully, the greyhounds have committed grassroots groups fighting for them, like the Greyhound Protection League of New Zealand. GREY2K USA Worldwide helped fund part of this undercover investigation, and we are proud of our role in the effort. We look forward to working with our allies in New Zealand for years to come, and I'm confident that together we can bring about change.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Dog Track Insiders Sound Alarm on Texas Injuries

The final race for Gable Weeman, who died at Gulf in 2010
Earlier this year we released a report that documented greyhound injuries at Gulf Greyhound Park (GGP) in Texas. According to state records, 1,507 greyhound injuries were reported at the track between 2008 and 2011, including 56 fatal injuries.

When our report was released, a track executive bent over backwards in an attempt to rationalize these injuries. She attacked greyhound advocates and falsely claimed that the "vast majority" of reported injuries at Gulf Greyhound Park were "minor."  In reality, a majority (54%) of reported injuries at Gulf were either puncture wounds, lacerations, torn ligaments or broken bones. The most commonly reported injury was a broken leg.

As it turns out, greyhound advocates are not the only ones concerned about injuries at Gulf. In a internet discussion that started last night, a greyhound breeder and owner named Wally Wasik told other industry supporters about a dog that was recently hurt at the Texas track:
"I had another pup break down again at Gulf. The track conditions are terrible there."
Wasik also stated that there is widespread concern in the industry about Gulf's racing surface:
"The Kennels arre complaining about the racing surface. Talked to the racing Secretary. who is no smarter than a light bulb, said they are working on the problem. But they are not doing anything to fix the problem. That is common knowledge." (sic)
An hour later, a well-known racing greyhound owner named Laird Morgan echoed Wasik's concerns. Morgan added that the track is refusing to work with the Texas Greyhound Association, which represents greyhound breeders, to find solutions:
"Everything I heard points to the need to take the surface down to the drainage/irrigation level and have a capable contractor build it back up. Doubt they will suspend racing for the time and money required. The most disappointing element is the unwillingness of GGP management to work with the TGA on a solution."
Wasik then responded by expressing his overall frustration with the track:
"If they CANNOT SECURE a safe racing Surface for the Greyhounds, THEY NEED TO SHUT DOWN."
This elicited empathy from a greyhound kennel owner and trainer named Malcom McAllister, who wrote in part:
U Too Wood collapsed on the track and died at Gulf
"Wally, my heart goes out to you, and the greyhounds that 'have' to race there ... until they have a person in charge that is 'concerned' then it will stay the same."
Wasik then wrote:
"Maybe it's time Racing and Anti-Racing come together to get rid of a track that will not take the SAFETY of greyhounds seriously."
We have forwarded this entire discussion to the Texas Racing Commission, and asked the agency to open an investigation into the track surface at Gulf Greyhound Park. At GREY2K USA Worldwide, our mission is not only to end dog racing, but also to make life better for greyhounds while racing continues. This is an area where we have a common interest with Texas greyhound owners, and we share their concern about injuries at this low-end track.