Pennsylvania state senator proposes ban on simulcasting of greyhound racing

Pennsylvania has already shut down live greyhound racing in the state and now state Senator Stewart Greenleaf is proposing legislation that would ban simulcasting of races.

An article posted on notes simulcast betting is not currently happening in the state, but Greenleaf rightfully wants to make sure it doesn’t rear its ugly head in the future.

A couple of troubling aspects to the story are quotes from author Cynthia Branigan, who at one point states – “The racing people have made an evolutionary leap on this issue. None of the dogs are destroyed.”

None of the dogs are destroyed? – I’ve not heard that one, even from the racing racing insiders. Maybe she was misquoted. In reality, thousands are killed each year – from young pups to dogs that die from injuries, to others that are “destroyed” because they don’t pass the racing test and are no longer money-makers.

Let’s review a few of the primary reasons why animal lovers are calling for an end to dog racing.

First, we have what I now call “industrial confinement.” For the most part, the greys are caged for 20 hours each day and do not get the attention and compassion they would receive in a loving home. They also don’t get the playtime and comfort they would receive in a home setting.

Caging an animal in this way causes mental anguish, and this is the case for any being with self-awareness.

The racing dogs suffer severe injuries which too often result in death. It’s tough to watch a video of dogs crashing on the racetrack.

Then, there is the rate of cancer in racing greyhounds, due to the poor breeding practices that too often place the need for speed over health concerns. We also see this in the breeding practices for other breeds, as appearance takes precedent over health.

While so many never make it out alive, others are indeed sent to rescue groups and kennesl across the country, also by the thousands. It’s a good thing, because at least these survivors have the opportunity to find homes.

But it also adds to the tragic level of homelessness across the board for dogs. For every dog that ends up in rescue from the racing and puppy-mill industries, another dog somewhere misses its chance at a loving home.

So bravo Senator Greenleaf, you understand how this works and you understand the consequences. Pennsylvania may have some other areas by which to improve on, but the state’s recent passage of anti-puppy mill legislation and these moves to shut down dog racing are very positive steps and should followed by other states.


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Jennifer Calderon on April 13, 2010 at 7:24 pm

    Way to go Senator Greenleaf!!!! Finally something is happening good for the dogs in PA!! God Bless You!!


  2. Posted by D Gary Grady on April 14, 2010 at 12:35 am

    Just to clarify, what the senator is proposing is banning casinos and the like from showing greyhound racing in other states and allowing customers to place bets. Simply broadcasting a greyhound race would not in itself be illegal. (That would probably collide with the First Amendment.) Of course, since greyhound racetracks wouldn’t allow races to be televised without getting money for it, and almost nobody watches greyhound racing except to gamble, it’s not likely there will be a lot of televised racing absent remote gambling based on it.

    Excellent point about how overbreeding greyhounds and dumping them into the adoption system ends up keeping other dogs from being adopted.

    Fortunately greyhound racing today appeals to a shrinking demographic. A friend of mine who used to go to tracks a couple of decades ago (and once saw a greyhound catch the mechanical rabbit!) told me that even then, there were very few young customers. Many tracks are losing money and stay open only because of state laws limiting slot machines and other casino-style gambling to racetracks. Owner of these tracks are lobbying their legislatures to let them keep the casino operation and shut down the racetracks, since they’d make more money that way.


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