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Does Reporting Injuries Help Greyhounds?

I haven’t had a Gray Matter in a long time. I have worked the welfare vs. rights debate, the kill vs. no kill debate, and the all important: what car to buy-decision. But yesterday I did something that I don’t regret, but I’m not sure of the message I’ve sent.

I contacted my representative, as well as Rep. Bill Proctor, the latter of whom introduced House Bill 1377, the Greyhound Recordkeeping Amendment. Believe it or not, in Florida, trainers, kennel operators, and breeders aren’t required to divulge whether a greyhound was injured, how she was injured, how, if, or by whom she was treated, and whether the injury was career or life-ending. When a dog is "euthanized," no one must report how or when that occurred and who was the party responsible for the dog’s death. Florida’s 16 dog tracks have given millions to the state through the work and blood of the dogs, yet the dogs merely disappear.

The Gray Matter is: Am I harming the dogs by supporting the legislation?

Let’s deconstruct:

  • If the injuries are reported, I would hope the public would become duly enraged and call for an end to racing. In other words, the hope is that the legislation exposes greyhound racing for what it really is, for those not paying attention or not thinking about the issue for a nanosecond. I would hope it would lead to the end of greyhound racing in Florida.
  • But the actual legislation isn’t in line with abolition, and I have no reason to believe it will lead to it. It does nothing to address the real problem: the existence of racing (not the existence of injuries).
  • In fact, I might argue that the legislation, in the long run, would harm the dogs. Perhaps this is like arguing for bigger cages for battery hens (although it is substantively different), or for the disclosure of the number of downers by cattle operations or the number of rats and mice killed in laboratory experiments. In other words, it might cause an increase in awareness, which might lead to a change in conduct and a benefit to the dogs, but that benefit might create the illusion that the industry is okay or improving, and that makes people feel better about participating. And that makes the probability of ending racing lower than before the legislation.

If I could see a stat that said that shortly after the introduction of legislation requiring the reporting of injuries, tracks have closed down, I might be convinced that I did the right thing. But right now, I’m just not sure.

One Comment Post a comment
  1. Mike Grieco #

    The public needs to know the "Reality" of Greyhound Slavery,and this will lead to an end to the "Use and Abuse" of Greyhounds(we hope).
    How could showing "Respect" for another creature be wrong Mary?(It can't)
    I believe you did the right thing,after all the other "Dark Side" of Greyhound "events" appear to be the WORSE kept Secret.
    Many people have learned to respect Animals by being exposed to the reality of how Animals are treated (Abused). Bless the Greyhounds!

    April 29, 2007

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