British reporter uncovers another greyhound scandal; dog racing in U.S. may be near finish
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, March 2008:
LONDON–The Royal Veterinary College pays
the Greyhound Clinic in Essex £10 per dog to
kill healthy racing greyhounds and supply body
parts to the college, revealed Daniel Foggo of
the London Times on March 2, 2008.
The fee paid by the RVC is in addition to
the £30 per dog that the Greyhound Clinic charges
dog owners, Foggo wrote. “The RVC, the oldest
and largest veterinary college in Britain,
admitted that it had similar agreements with
other clinics,” added Foggo.
Spokespersons for the National Greyhound
Racing Club, Royal SPCA, and Greyhounds U.K.
Foggo exposed the RVC scheme by posing as
a greyhound owner with dogs to dispose of. Foggo
used a similar ruse in 2006 to expose the modus
operandis of one David Smith, of Seaham, County
Durham, who had allegedly killed as many as
10,000 racing greyhounds, and the Leigh Animal
Sanctuary in Greater Manchester, where “an
employee called David accepted £70 in cash to
kill two young greyhounds,” no questions asked.
The sanctuary began refusing to accept greyhounds
on the day Foggo’s article about it appeared.
The two remaining greyhound tracks in
Massachusetts will be obliged to end live racing
by January 1, 2010 if voters approve a
referendum placed on the November 2008 state
ballot by the Committee to Protect Dogs, a
coalition including Grey2K USA, the Humane
Society of the U.S., and the Massachusetts SPCA.
A similar proposal lost by 2% of the vote in
2000. A broader measure that also included
provisions to protect police and service dogs and
strengthen the Massachusetts ban on dogfighting
was barred from the 2006 ballot by the state
Supreme Judicial Court, which held that it
addressed too many subjects.
The Corpus Christi Greyhound Race Track
is closed for 2008, after losing $3.8 million a
year in recent seasons, building a debt of $35.5
million. Built in 1989, the track may reopen in
2009, general manager Rick Pimental told Dan
Kelley of the Corpus Christi Caller-Times. The
Wichita Greyhound Park in Kansas and the Tampa
Greyhound Track also closed after the 2007
season, leaving fewer than 35 greyhound tracks
still operating in the U.S., 13 of them in
Florida. The Florida betting handle dropped to
$188.5 million in 2007, less than 20% of the
volume of 20 years ago, when more than 50
greyhound tracks were in business nationwide.