Monday, February 18, 2013


Since my best friend Hawk is a "retired" racing greyhound, I have vowed to use my site on a regular basis to do what I can to bring to an end the killing, abuse, and torture of these lovely animals.  

I am aware that, in general, I am more radical then your average run of the mill greyhound racing opponent (I am talking about my politics in general, not my concern for greyhounds).  I bet what I am about to tell you many on our side would publicly condemn (but, by god, in their hearts I bet you they cheer on the direct action taken at one track on the other side of the Atlantic).  We have been talking for years, rescuing for years, and seeing dogs tortured and killed for years.  Over in England someone got tired of just talking about it.

It seems that someone(s) busted their way into the Coventry Greyhound racing track site last month.  They sprayed graffiti all over including at the main entrance.  They glued the padlock and cut wires around the stadium. They cut electric wires on the trap and the manual cables, too. No big deal really, but I'm sure these people were just frustrated and wanted to do something.

The track at Coventry has been the site of years of protests.

One of the reasons for this sort of thing is highlighted at Action for Greyhounds.

R.I.P. DEAR BOY LOCAL DEE JAY 25.05.2008 to 15.05.2012

 Tuesday May 15th 2012 a young black male greyhound’s life was tragicly cut short in a trial at Coventry greyhound stadium, before the track officially reopened on Sunday May 20th.

LOCAL DEE JAY (also known as LOCAL FLAWLESS) was born in Ireland on May 25th 2008 along with 3 black sisters (Danesrath Mel, Local Kuro and Local Gaffer). His first race in Ireland was on September 3rd 2009 at Kilkenny greyhound track.

Throughout his brief racing ‘career’ he was dragged from here to Clonmel and Shelbourne Park, then in the U.K from Sittingbounre, Wimbledon, Romford, Brough Park, Belle Vue, Hove & Brighton, Yarmouth, Monmore and Hall Green.

His last race on a licensed track was at Hall Green on 18th April 2012 but he was raced to death at Coventry Stadium in a trial on Tuesday 15th May before the track officially opened on Sunday May 20th. Trained by the daughter of Coventry greyhound track proprietor Harry Fenton.

Coventry Stadium has been named the ‘stadium of Death’ by local greyhound protection group C.A.G.E. (Coventry Against Greyhound Exploitation) who vow to carry out peaceful protests outside the track until it is forced to close  (see article on their first demo).

Raced to death!

Remember racing is not like a choice made by these creatures.  They love to run, no doubt about it.  They love to run with each other, no doubt about it.  They don't, however, CHOOSE to be mistreated, live in unsanitary boxes,  fed poor quality food, receive inadequate veterinary care, be constantly and chronically injured, and executed when they aren't "good" enough, or too old, or too ornery. 

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world in Macau sits the track called the Canidrome.  As per normal greyhunds are mistreated and die for the pleasure of owners, breeders, gamblers...MONEY.

As reported by Greyhounds Rescue Holland:

Built in 1931, the Canidrome is a worn out facility that does not provide even the most basic welfare standards for dogs.  When not racing they are confined for long periods of time in tiny cages stacked two high, when they do race many sustain serious injuries and those who finish outside the top three in five races in a row, are simply destroyed.  According to officials, around 400 dogs are killed by lethal injection each year and every greyhound arriving at the track is dead within three years.

Many countries, including Australia, allow dogs to be exported to Macau knowing full well what their fate will be.   There is no adoption program allowed here.  None, zero, zip. An investigation by Australia's Sunday Morning Post and a greyhound rescue/protection group last year found that 383 greyhounds imported from Australia were killed at the Canidrome that year alone.  The investigation also found that nearly every single one of those dogs were perfectly healthy.  It seems that if a dog fails to finish in the top three for five consecutive races, they are killed.

It is so bad that even some of the owners are complaining.  They say their requests to have their dogs adopted.  rather then destrouyed have been refused by the owners of Canidrome.  Some owners are refusing to allow their dogs to be killed and are, at least, paying for room and board at the track (which is no great place to live, but I suppose is better then being butchered) even though they are no longer racing.  

Anima chairman Albano Martins says talks with the track are going nowhere.  

"Those people at the Canidrome are just joking with the Macau government. We have four or five adopters ready to take the dogs but nothing is happening."

The first article below is from the Guardian.  The second is from Care2.

Macau's Canidrome greyhound track is targeted by animal rights groups

Activists are concerned that dogs at the Chinese enclave's track are killed once their racing days are over
The Canidrome stadium in Macau
The Canidrome stadium in Macau, where an animal protection group says 302 greyhounds were injured in a 10-week period, with a sixth likely to have been killed. Photograph: Neil Setchfield / Alamy/Alamy

The howling of the dogs can be heard behind the high concrete walls topped with barbed wire that circle the Canidrome in Macau. This run-down track near the former Portuguese colony's border withChina is the only greyhound track in Asia, and is targeted by animal activists, who accuse its owners of brutality and of killing dogs after their racing days end.

Some greyhound tracks run active rehoming programmes, but discussions about one at the Canidrome have broken down because of a lack of trust, according to the Macau animal rights group, Anima.

The Canidrome, built in 1930, is in the north of Macau, the gambling hub of China. On race night, men wearing livery to match that of the six dogs march out under the floodlights in a near-empty stadium as the dogs strain at their leashes and defecate on the track before being shoved into the starting gate.

A whirring sound grows louder as the locked-in dogs whimper. Then the mechanised lure flashes by and the dogs are released, gulping up the track with amazing speed. All too soon, that mad dash is over and the dogs are taken away – perhaps to their death.

"There are reports from animal welfare groups that many of the owners think of the dogs just as an investment, so that when the dog is injured they don't want to pay for the maintenance," said one handler who, forbidden by his bosses to talk, refused to give his name. "So the dogs are just killed."

No one else at the Canidrome would talk, neither staff nor management.

This handler, a veteran staff member, believes the dogs he looks after are "happy". But he won't say more, fearing for his job.

A study by the animal protection group Grey2K – which runs greyhound rescue projects in the US – estimated that 383 dogs were put down in Macau in 2010. The Macau press has reported Choi U Fai, head of Macau's municipal and civic affairs animal control division, as saying 30 dogs were killed each month.

Grey2K said that its analysis of records held by Canidrome showed that 302 greyhounds were injured in a 10-week period, many suffering multiple injuries, including broken limbs. A sixth of those hurt were "recommended retired", which Grey2K interprets as meaning they were killed.

"It's a one-way death sentence," said Charmaine Settle of Grey2K after a visit to Canidrome last November. A dog needed only to come unplaced in three races before being put on death row, a charge the Canidrome has denied.

Albano Martins, of Anima, was hoping he could start finding homes for greyhounds released from racing. But even if owners can be persuaded to rehome instead of kill their dogs, his problems are just starting.

Macau is an overcrowded, over-developed enclave dedicated to huge gambling complexes. It has a shifting population of mainland Chinese tourists and high-rollers and migrant workers from south-east Asia – leaving little time or space for the niceties of pet ownership.

"Macau and Anima cannot absorb such a huge amount of animals. And Macau is a such a tiny place, with no laws at all protecting animals – we are afraid to have them here," said Martins.

He has been pressing the government of Macau for dog safeguards since 2003.

Embarrassed by the attention it has received in lurid local exposés, the Canidrome management is also facing pressure from Australia, the main source of the 360 dogs it imports each year.

The Australia chapter of the Animals Asia group is pressing Canberra to ban the export of the greyhounds. Many argue the only solution is to end the racing. "Everybody in Macau is embarrassed," said Martins, who wants to meet owners in the enclave, though not at the track. He said he finds it hard to go there and hear the dogs howling.


Racing Greyhounds in Asia Denied Adoption, Killed Instead

Greyhound racing is an unsavory business. From poor living conditions to illegal drugs, racing dogs lead unenviable lives.

On top of that, they tend to be short lives. Racers live for only a few years: they “are usually put down if they fail to finish in the top three for five consecutive races,” reports the South China Morning Post.

A few owners who race their dogs are compassionate enough to want the animals adopted rather than killed. But a greyhound boarding facility in Macau is refusing owners’ requests to adopt retired dogs out and insisting on killing them instead, according to the advocacy group Anima.

Even if the Macau Canidrome agreed to adoptions, it might not be easy to find homes for the greyhounds. “Macau is an overcrowded, over-developed enclave dedicated to huge gambling complexes,” The Guardian reports. “It has a shifting population of mainland Chinese tourists and high-rollers and migrant workers from south-east Asia – leaving little time or space for the niceties of pet ownership.”

Most of the dogs at the Canidrome are imported from Australia, which is facing pressure to ban the export of greyhounds to Macau. “Many argue the only solution is to end the racing,” The Guardian notes.

The Macau Canidrome, the only greyhound racing track in Asia, euthanizes more than 30 dogs a month.  It also sees a startling number of injuries: “Grey2K said that its analysis of records held by Canidrome showed that 302 greyhounds were injured in a 10-week period, many suffering multiple injuries, including broken limbs,” according to The Guardian. A list of the injuries is available from GREY2K USA.

Greyhounds in the U.S. also suffer frequent injuries, including “broken legs, paralysis, head trauma, and death from cardiac arrest.”

They also suffer more intentional abuse. They “are confined in small cages barely large enough for them to stand up or turn around for” 20 or more hours each day, according to advocacy group GREY2K USA. In the United States “dogs are fed the cheapest meat available,” meaning the flesh from “dying, diseased, disabled and dead livestock” that is deemed unfit for human consumption.

Some racing dogs are also fed illegal drugs, like cocaine. One trainer found guilty of doping his dog was fined a mere $50.

Mother dogs and their puppies are kept in warehouse-type cages, stacked one atop the other, at American facilities.

The fates of greyhounds bred for racing are not surprising. Any time humans use animals for their own purposes the animals get the short end of the stick: this is the case for factory farming, vivisection and animals in circuses. Matters deteriorate when corporations like the Macau Canidrome enter the picture. As profits become more important the animals’ welfare matters even less than it did before.

The Macau Canidrome has so far refused to develop or participate in an adoption program. It is time to shut it down and end greyhound racing in Asia.

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