Is CSU trying to hide sources of greyhounds found in labs?
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, March 1999:
DENVER––A Colorado bill appearing to attempt to
circumvent the record-keeping requirements of the federal
Animal Welfare Act cleared the state house on February 10 and
is pending in the state senate as SB 1228.
Reported Dan Luzadder of the Rocky Mountain News,
“Representative Steve Johnson, R-Fort Collins, a veterinarian
and sponsor of the bill, said Colorado State University requested
the bill to maintain confidentiality among clients and vets” at the
CSU teaching hospital.
The bill seeks to exempt CSU from having to produce
veterinary records pertaining to owned animals under the state
Freedom of Information Act, unless the records are requested by
the owners themselves.
Continued Luzadder, “The bill prompted lengthy floor
debate over whether it closes access to public records used last
year to expose the use of greyhound racing dogs for practice
surgeries by CSU students. The California-based Greyhound
Protection League obtained records last year showing that school
officials had euthanized thousands of healthy racing dogs over
three years, and used a few hundred for surgical labs––most of
them without obtaining the actual owners’ consent.”
Hemoragic disease hits Florida
Laboratories may be leary of accepting ex-racing greyhounds
from some sources, however, after the outbreak of a
unknown and potentially fatal hemoragic disease in Florida rattled
the greyhound industry during January and February.
Except for unconfirmed reports of cases in Alabama,
the disease did not spread beyond Florida––but as the National
Greyhound Association reminded members via the World Wide
Web, “In 1992 an upper respiratory infection became epidemic
in greyhound racing,” when it moved from New England to
Florida to Wisconsin, Kansas, Colorado, and Arizona. The recollection
put the entire greyhound world on alert.
Initially misdiagnosed as “kennel cough,” the disease
was discovered to be something new when University of Florida
pathobiologist William Castleman did a necropsy on the remains
of the three-year-old championship racing greyhound Chances
Are Free and two others, who died on February 1 at the Palm
Beach Kennel Club in West Palm Beach, Florida.
The new epidemic broke out on January 3. At least
eight dogs died in Florida, six of them at the Derby Lane track in
Derby Lane, with at least 600 of the 1,155 resident
dogs ill, was forced to suspend racing for the first time in the 75
years the track has existed.
An estimated 350 racing dogs fell ill in West Palm
Beach, along with 300 of the 1,000 dogs kept at the Naples-Fort
Myers Greyhound Track in Bonita Springs.
The severity of the outbreak brought immediate speculation
that kennel cough had mutated a resistance to standard vaccines.
Preliminary reports from a variety of sources indicated
that the suspected infectious agent resembled both e-coli and the
agent responsible for toxic shock syndrome. But there was no
indication of the disease spreading either to or from humans.
The Bonita Springs track reportedly lost $800,000 as
result of cancelling four race cards during the outbreak. The
West Palm Beach track reportedly lost about $400,000 during a
week-long voluntary quarantine.
Also hit were the Sarasota Kennel Club, with 45 dogs
ill, the Hollywood Greyhound Track, and the Sanford-Orlando
Kennel Club in Longwood. Five other Florida tracks apparently
escaped infection by promptly imposing quarantines.
As the outbreak subsided, National Greyhound
Adoption Program founder David Wolf of Philadelphia accused
Florida pari-mutuel officials in Tallahassee of ignoring an offer
of 5,000 free doses of kennel cough vaccine, and posted signs
near tracks reading “Adopt a greyhound. Stop the slaughter.”
One sign in West Palm Beach was taken down, however,
by the billboard owner, AK Media/FL. The Palm Beach
Kennel Club, said AK Media/FL director of public affairs Jesus
Garcia, “is among our clients, too.”
But Garcia said the removal was the company’s idea.