- Kenneth MakDirector-General, Department of Trade and Industry
Keep dog racing out of South Africa
GREY2K USA has just received word of a renewed push to bring dog racing to the country of South Africa! Please sign our petition to stop the expansion of this cruelty now.
In addition, we ask that you join with us in sending official public comments to Kenneth Mak, Director-General of the Department of Industry and Trade, who will be deciding this issue. He must receive your official comments no later than June 23, 2014. Read our letter here.
- Greyhound racing is a dying industry worldwide
- Thousands of greyhounds suffer serious injuries and some also die while racing
- Many healthy dogs are also killed once their usefulness ends
- When not racing, greyhounds are confined in small cages for at least 20 hours a day
- The breeding of greyhounds will contribute to the challenge of placing homeless animals
- Greyhound racing is illegal in South Africa and should remain so
Thank you to our friends at the National Council of Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NSPCA) for alerting us to this situation. Together, we can prevent the suffering and deaths of gentle greyhounds, but we must act now.
- Director-General, Department of Trade and Industry
It has come to my attention that commercial greyhound racing is once again under consideration in South Africa, despite a 1949 prohibition and in disregard of twenty years of official recommendations against legalization. I ask that you reject any proposals to authorize this cruel activity.
As recently as 2010, the South African Gambling Review Commission analyzed proposals for greyhound racing and identified both humane and economic problems. At the conclusion of twenty months of public hearings and after meeting with both racing proponents and anti-racing advocates around the world, the Commission concluded that greyhound racing should not be allowed based on the following considerations:
1. There is significant popular opposition to greyhound racing and legitimate concerns about animal welfare,
2. The industry is unlikely to generate significant revenues.
3. In order to become successful, greyhound racing would have to stimulate demand for a new gambling product, which is at odds with the philosophy behind the controlled rollout of gambling in South Africa, and is likely to lead to a proliferation of gambling.
Greyhound racing is in great decline across the globe. When first invented in the United States in the 1920’s, it could not be foreseen that thousands of dogs would suffer and die. Records were not kept of track injuries or deaths, and the public could not know what happened to racing dogs. But today, thanks to the enactment of reporting laws, American track records are now established as public documents. At two tracks in West Virginia, for example, over 5,000 injuries occurred and 302 dogs have died since 2008. The majority of injuries tend to be broken legs, and other injuries include dislocations, torn muscles, paralysis, broken necks and broken backs. Electrocutions also occur. Some dogs die while racing, while others are put down due to the severity of their injuries, or simply because of their diminished value as racers. In the state of Florida, government records show that a racing dog dies every three days.
Meanwhile, between 2002 and 2011, the total amount gambled on American greyhound racing declined by 67% and taxes to host states shrunk by more than 80%. Additionally, the number of tracks has been more than cut in half. Now is not the time to bring this cruel and bankrupt business to your beautiful country.
I respectfully ask that you deny proponents of greyhound racing the authorization they request and confirm that, as a matter of law, commercial dog racing is not a legal nor a compassionate practice in South Africa.
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