By Byron Shehee
Alabama Political Reporter
MONTGOMERY—Efforts to end dog racing are intensifying after a report released by Grey2K USA Worldwide published the number of dogs injured or killed at racetracks around the country.
GREY2K USA Worldwide is the largest greyhound protection organization in the United States and the report issued cites over 900 fatalities and 11,700 injuries to greyhounds across the nation since 2008. In addition to the injuries and deaths, gaming revenue from dog racing has plummeted by 79 percent since 2001.
“For the first time, both the humane and economic costs of this cruel industry are documented for all to see,” said Christine Dorchak, president of GREY2K USA. “Taxpayers are losing money, states are doling out millions in annual subsidies, and gentle greyhounds continue to die as pawns to this antiquated industry.”
“Thirty-nine states have already made the humane decision to ban greyhound racing, but this cruel sport continues to exploit greyhounds despite public outcry and overwhelming financial losses from a dying industry,” said Nancy Perry, senior vice president of ASPCA Government Relations. “The ASPCA is proud to stand with our partners at GREY2K USA to shed light on the wanton cruelty inflicted on the thousands of dogs that enter the racing industry each year. We hope state lawmakers will agree that it is time to end dog racing once and for all.”
Alabama is currently the home of two live dog racing tracks, with one in Birmingham and the other in Theodore. The law governing these facilities reads that “It is therefore necessary and desirable, and in the best interest of the state and the people resident in Class 1 municipalities and the host county of each thereof, that commissions organized under this chapter be given the additional power to license and regulate greyhound racing and parimutuel wagering […]”
It is not often that we see both parties working across the aisle, but maybe the legislature will agree that it’s time to revisit whether Alabama should remain one of the last seven states to allow dog racing and whether it is “necessary and desirable, and in the best interest of the state” after all?
GREY2K USA and the ASPCA have a petition on change.org urging Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Iowa, Texas and West Virginia to take decisive action against dog racing.