The Grey Hound Racing industry is on the decline. What used to be an industry worth millions of dollars is now a shadow of its former self with the money making sport becoming a money-losing one. Most importantly, it has been blackballed by animal rights group for the treatment of the greyhounds used in the races.
According to several reports, some greyhounds are severely injured at the tracks and according to the a Nonprofit animal rights group, even before they are set out on the tracks, they are kept in their cages 22 hours a day. This means that the greyhounds that are involved in the racing, face a life of confinement where hundreds are injured, forced into retirement and even threatened with death unless they have people willing to take them in.
What is more shocking is the assertion by some human rights groups that on an average, one grey hound dies every three days of racing on the Florida racing track. Typically, most of the injuries that the dogs sustain are serious in nature. They often suffer from:
- Broken Legs
- Heart Attacks
According to the current woman at the helm of affairs i.e. the Governor of Florida, Maria Sachs, greyhound racing is an “inhumane way of gambling”.
A Dwindling Force
The numbers of races conducted every day on the Florida tracks continues to decrease. Not only are human rights groups asking for an end to grey hound racing on humane grounds, but they also have dog track owners as unlikely allies in this race to ensure the safety of the dogs.
Despite being looked down upon by most quarters, the business has not yet ended. It continues to take place, with dog track owners, most of which are against the inhumane treatment of the dogs, inclined to facilitate the races to keep their poker rooms open. This is mainly because people still lose $2.5 million a year in bets on the races, making it a primary income source.
According to a Florida Track owner, whose Grand Father had started the business, one of his circuits alone can have as many as 3200 races every season, where each one is not only harmful to a dog but where people lose lots of money.
With changing times, the future of Grey Hound racing seems more vulnerable than ever. Over time and in the past decade alone, betting on greyhounds has fallen by almost half. This is because the races are now unable to bring in the crowds they used to back in the day. The generation of today has come of age with the internet. For these people, watching a race where animals run around in a circle with such apparent animal right violations is a waste of time.
Insecurity is what continues to fuel dog racing. There is a general belief in racing horse owners that once dog racing goes away, horse racing will be next.