With the greyhound racing industry suffering, two animal welfare organizations are going on the offensive and pushing for changes.
The major push comes after a disturbing report was released depicting greyhound racing as dangerous and deadly. According to documents, between 2008 and 2014 there have been 11,000 injuries and 909 deaths, the AP reports.
“People don’t realize how treacherous the life of a greyhound dog is — broken legs, skulls, backs, severed toes, electrocution, even cardiac arrest because of the stress,” Nancy Perry, senior vice president of ASPCA government relations, told the outlet. Critics of the industry have also cited low-quality food, being locked up in a kennel for 22 hours and made to run in circles.
Executive director of the National Greyhound Association Gary Guccione responded to these accusations, along with the report.
“The industry is not inhumane,” Guccione said. “It is very much responsible and very much looks out for the welfare of the racing greyhound from birth through its entire life.”
The two organizations decided now was the time to attack the industry after it has suffered in recent times. In 2012, $665 million was bet on the animals in the U.S., down 66 percent from approximately $1.96 billion in 2001.
They plan to begin the push in Florida, which is home to 13 of the nation’s 21 tracks.
The findings come from data covering 13 years of state data and 600 sources.