Message 1 - posted by mkradioman, Feb 22, 2008
What a shame Radio Oxford is promoting greyhound racing at a time when most decent people are realising what really goes on in this so-called sport.
Thousands of greyhounds die each year either because they are no longer good enough to race, or because they never were, or are are no longer worth anything as stud dogs or breeding bitches.
This is an estimate of the scale of the problem. Where possible the figures are those given by greyhound racing industry itself - all rounding is in favour of the greyhound racing industry; where estimates are made they are made in favour of the industry. The actual figures are almost certainly worse than the estimate presented here.
It should be pointed out that there are some owners and trainers that do look after their dogs once they have finished racing; either by actively rehoming them themselves, ensuring they get into the rescue and rehoming system, or in some cases by keeping them as pets in the home. However, the figures speak for themselves, and patently such care is sadly lacking within the industry in general.
The National Greyhound Racing Club (NGRC), until the end of 2006, admitted on it's website that it does not have figures for the number of greyhounds killed each year (this has been removed from the FAQ on their site, but figures are still not given and it is doubtful if they know - we would be happy to be corrected on this); once a dog ceases to race it is no longer their concern - and dogs not registered with them never were.
With the lack of figuers from the flapping tracks it's difficult to know how many new dogs are introduced each year, but it does not seem unreasonable to assume the rate is about the same as that of the registered tracks. However, to be conservative we will say it is only ¾. This gives us:
Number of dogs registered on flapping tracks per year: (11,000 ∗ 18 ÷ 29) * 3/4 = 5,120
Total number of dogs registered or introduced into racing in the UK each year: 11,000 + 5,120 = 16,120
So over 16,100 dogs are newly introduced to racing each year in the UK; it doesn't seem unreasonable that a similar number will end their racing career each year. How many find homes?
The number of dogs the RGT rehomes each year is: 35,000 ÷ 30 = 1,167
Which leaves the number of dogs unaccounted for each year as: 16,120 − 1,167 = 14,953
But what about the independant rescues (i.e. those that do not receive funding from greyhound racing industry – the RGT receives £850,000 a year from the British Greyhound Racing Fund) – surely they rehome a fair few? True, but the independant rescue network is not as big as perhaps first thought. The rehoming figures presented by the RGT are for all RGT registered dogs, irrespective of which rescue rehomed them; this includes the RGT themselves and RGT affiliated rescues. The RGT is a national charity – the only one for rehoming greyhounds, and does a fantastic job. Independent rescues, who also do a great job, do not have an umbrella national organisation, which makes the actual numbers hard to come by. Let's assume they rehome a similar number of dogs as the RGT – which with the best will in the world they don't.
The number of dogs unaccounted for each year is now: 14,953 − 1,167 = 13,786
But what about the ones that are kept on by the owners and trainers? Numbers are impossible to come by here (which in itself is a comment on the number providing homes for their dogs). Anecdotal evidence is that the number is very small, as the majority do not want to keep a dog that is costing money. However, for our calculation we will assume that the same number of dogs rehomed by the RGT are given loving homes by their previous bosses – an optimistic figure.
The number of dogs unaccounted for each year is now: 13,786 − 1,167 = 12,619
So far we have not considered the dogs that never make it to the race track. Once again, numbers are not easy to come by, but a conservative estimate is that 30,000 dogs a year are bred in the UK and Ireland for the greyhound racing industry (about ¾ of the dogs raced in the UK come from Ireland). Out of that 30,000 we know where 16,120 end up. Others will be raced in Ireland, where their fate once they retire is a virtually assured death – one that is usually neither swift or painless, unless they are kept on for breeding – but that only delays the inevitable by a few years, and some will be exported to Spain – probably the worst option of all; conditions in some UK and Irish kennels may be bad, but they are nothing compared to those in Spain. However, an estimated 10% (some put it higher) will not get to the track due to injury or unwillingness to race. That's another 3,000 dogs to add to those unaccounted for each year, and some people double this figure to include puppies that are never even registered.
We now have the final number.
The number of greyhounds unaccounted for each year
due to the UK greyhound racing industry is
Or to put it another way, every 34 minutes, 24-7-365, a greyhound disappears.
As I said at the start this is an estimate. However, the assumptions made and figures calculated are in favour of the greyhound racing industry; the reality is almost certainly worse than presented here.
Surely it is time the greyhound racing industry stopped breeding and killing so many greyhounds.
And the BBC didnt blindly promote it
Message 2 - posted by Rhyme&Reason, Feb 25, 2008
Please tell us what form is the promotion by Radio Oxford taking?
I fear that the greyhound racing industry will never "stop breeding and killing so many greyhounds" until either forced to do so by legislation or by greatly diminished returns.
At present there appears to be no appetite for change amongst the law makers and dog racing is still being sold as glamorous to the needy who visit the tracks - possibly now by Radio Oxford too!
Meanwhile the betting industry continues to do very well from the suffering and continues to swell the coffers of the chancellor.
We also live, sadly, in a nation where the majority are being made too scared of their own shadows to have any time for others.
Whilst the great British pet lover continues to be permitted to buy animals at boot fairs and in magazines from wholly unregulated backyard breeders and pet stores allowed to sell to anyone clutching a fiver in their hand, there is nothing occurring to alter their consciousness.
The student population have lost their voice as they struggle to stay awake following 3 shifts a day at McYuk to pay off their loans.
The only pressure on the government is from small self-funding groups perpetually on the brink of collapse and without any clout other than the goodwill of the person whose ear they can manage to bend.
These very people are also slowly being demonised by the powers that be in order to silence their protest.
It is a very sorry state of affairs indeed.
So what hope?
I guess you just have to keep on keeping on!
Keep on shoving the figures, photos and stories in front of peoples faces until they take notice.
Far easier said than done I'm afraid, I've tried!
On a more positive note, my sister adopted an ex-racing greyhound only last week! Black and beautiful and absolutely adored by her two young children.