Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Seven Things You May Not Know About Greyhounds and "4-D" Meat

4-D Meat at a Commercial Dog Track
Last week, the News-Journal reported on the deaths of two racing greyhounds at Daytona Beach Kennel Club. According to state records the dogs were found in the bottom of their cages, lying in pools of blood. Nearly a hundred other greyhounds in the same kennel also became ill, apparently from a foodborne pathogen.

At dog tracks across the country, greyhounds are fed 4-D meat. In light of the Daytona incident, here are seven things you might not know about this standard practice.
  1. 4-D stands for dying, diseased, disabled and dead livestock. This meat is deemed unfit for human consumption, and includes denatured charcoal to prevent human use.

  2. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the use of 4-D meat in the racing industry is a potential health hazard. According to an FDA Compliance Policy Guide, the use of 4-D meat at dog tracks "may present a potential health hazard to the animals that consume it and to the people who handle it." The FDA also considers 4-D meat an "adulterated" product, and its shipment across state lines "is subject to appropriate regulatory action."

  3. Multiple studies have proven a direct link between 4-D meat and dangerous pathogens, including Salmonella. Also, according to an industry expert, racing greyhounds suffer from foodborne illnesses that other dogs do not. In a 1996 article, Dr. Brad Fenwick claimed that "foodborne diseases in dogs appear to be rare with the exception of greyhounds in the United States."

  4. Greyhound trainers use 4-D meat as a way to cut costs. According to industry handbook Care of the Racing and Retired Greyhound, 4-D meat is used because "it is the most economically feasible for the Greyhound industry at this time." This same handbook also reports problems associated with the use of this meat, including exposure to pathogenic bacteria and false drug positives.
  5. 4-D meat is mixed in large bathtubs at the track

  6. Greyhounds are fed 4-D meat raw. Cooking the meat would remove dangerous pathogens, but greyhound trainers refuse to do so because they are afraid of negatively affecting race performance.

  7. The use of raw 4-D meat at dog tracks is banned in South Tucson, Arizona. This prohibition was approved by local voters in 2008. Unfortunately, it's not clear whether this law has ever been enforced.

  8. This cheap meat is used at every dog track in the country. According to a 2003 letter from the National Greyhound Association, the NGA is "unaware of any professional Greyhound kennels or farms that use any other classification of meat as a major part of their Greyhound feeding programs."
The use of cheap 4-D meat is another example of how the dog racing industry cuts corners. The industry seeks to maximize the profit margin for every dog, at the expense of animal welfare. Unfortunately, greyhounds are continuing to suffer as a result of this recklessness.


  1. Thank you for this article! While difficult to read its the only way that the public will learn the truth about the Greyhound racing industry.

  2. How can this be stopped?

    1. There are many ways you can help end dog racing. See:


  3. This is sick and needs to end. Since these dogs are made to run for them, they should be treated well and fed well. Best yet, no more Grayhound racing.!

  4. I suggest we invite the track owners to a "Special All You Can Eat Banquet." Entrees will include rare Salibury steak, rare meatloaf and lots of rare burgers! I know just where to get the meat!

  5. Not every track and trainer does the same..but its hard to do any better without proper funding..If you have never worked with the dogs at the kennels..Its a lot easier to judge..but their are people there 24/7 making sure every dog is safe..For dogs that die in the middle of the nite in a pile of blood there are more ways then just the meat.."Birth defects"..If your son died in the middle of the night due to a kidney failure, im sure you wouldn't want a bunch of people saying it was your fault..To the one sided people on here remember, we are people too and we understand that we are going to take shit for the work we do or have done..We love these dogs just as you love yours and well continue to be here for them till the day dog racing ends..So please come adopt, volunteer, and donate..were all here for the same thing..The Dogs ..Thanks for any and all your help..