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SAGE Calls For Ban On Greyhound Races

September 18, 2019

- Grant Whittington

The exploitation of animals for profit is a social ill that should be quelled. In several cases, Greyhound racing is a textbook example of exactly this happening in full sight of the public eye, but hopefully not for much longer, at least not in Scotland.

The country currently has two remaining greyhound racetracks, of which only one is licensed with and governed by the Greyhound Board of Great Britain (GBGB). Thanks to committed and tenacious efforts on the part of Scotland Against Greyhound Exploitation (SAGE), both racetracks may soon at long last be forced to close shop, and with it, will come the end of local betting on this particular sport.

5,000 Support The Ban

According to SAGE representative Gill Doherty, the petition filed with Scotland’s regulators, at present an impressive 5,000 signatures strong, presents to legislators the various reasons why the organisation deems greyhound racing to be grossly inhumane. The fact that only 8 countries now permit greyhound racing is also being presented as an argument in favour of the organisation’s petition for a complete ban on the activity.

The issue isn’t as much with the way that the races are being conducted, but instead with the (verified) statistics relating to the various goings-on on the side and out of the general public eye. Few sports bettors are even aware of the fact that some 1,000 dogs die every year as a direct result of greyhound racing. In addition to the deaths, in 2018 alone, some 5,000 animals sustained life-threatening injuries that have subsequently resulted in the injured animals being retired from racing and surrendered to greyhound adoption and rescue organisations.

GBGB Guilty Of Sweet Talk

Even more disturbing is the issue around dogs being injected with performance-enhancing drugs. In 2018, there were 10 reported cases of doped animals, some with potentially lethal Class A drugs. Despite claims being made by the GBGB regarding its intention to sharpen up on animal safety and general animal welfare, as well as more effective measures with regards to doping to be instituted, SAGE continues to push for a complete ban.

On the upside, the organisation has said that it has noted a definite decline in the popularity of races exploiting animals for monetary gain over the course of recent years. The GBGB’s claim that it has zero-tolerance for the mistreatment of animals hasn’t done much in the way of appeasing the volatility of the situation and the called-for complete ban on greyhound racing does seem to be the best course of action when thinking animal welfare and the general protection of those regarded as most vulnerable.

Ban Would Be First Prize

The issue around the rehoming of not only abandoned animals but also animals retired due to being too old to compete in profitable manner, is also currently under the loop. Many animal rescue organisations; even those specialising exclusively in the re-homing of the greyhound breed, are full up to capacity in terms of space as well as other resources.

Organisations are often forced to resort to drastic measures such as euthanasia of some of the older animals in order to afford younger animals a fighting chance at being successfully rehomed and leading as normal a life as possible for the remainder of their living years.

This in itself should present powerful enough of an argument to finally bring about what campaigns like SAGE and so many others like it have been demanding for literally years now. A complete ban appears to be the only effective solution to the problem in the long run as a select group of humans have shown themselves completely incapable of taking care of the animals entrusted into their care

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