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US ANTI-GREYHOUND RACING ACTIVISTS NOT WELCOME AT NZ TRACK

American anti-greyhound racing activists visiting New Zealand on a fact-finding mission were yesterday asked to leave Auckland Greyhound Racing Club’s track at Manukau when they sought to inspect the premises.

GREY2K USA Worldwide’s president and general counsel, Christine Dorchak, and executive director, Carey Theil, arrived in New Zealand on Saturday night to meet with anti-dog racing activists and view racing conditions in Auckland. However, they were questioned on arrival at the Manukau track on Sunday and shortly afterwards were requested to leave. greyhoundusa.jpg

Mr Theil says he was questioned on his arrival at the track and, after 15 minutes of discussion, was asked to leave.

“There seemed an air of paranoia, of over-reaction. We’ve done site inspections at dozens of tracks throughout the world.”

Mr Theil says he had hoped he would be given a tour of the track and that officials would explain to him how the industry was structured, where the dogs lived and what they were fed.

“I walked away a little frustrated and disappointed. We were hoping to get a better understanding.”

Ms Dorchak and New Zealand anti-greyhound racing activist, Lynn Charlton, were also asked to leave within a short time of arriving at the track.

Ms Dorchak and Mr Theil have been staying with Ms Charlton while in New Zealand, and have also met with SAFE NZ and with SPCA Auckland’s Bob Kerridge.

Ms Dorchak says she and Mr Theil are keen to show activists in other countries that a small number of people can make huge progress in campaigning to end greyhound racing.

“If the two of us can do it, other people can do it.”

Mr Theil says the meeting with New Zealand anti-greyhound racing activists was very productive.

“There are people clearly throughout the country who care about these dogs and are fighting for change.”

Ms Dorchak says concerns about New Zealand’s greyhound racing industry include the fact that it is completely self-regulating; there are no welfare standards for greyhounds; and it is unknown what happens to greyhounds who are imported to New Zealand each year from Australia to race in events in this country.

“We feel one important measure activists should pursue here is transparency – a tracking system from the moment the dogs enter New Zealand.”

She says tracking leads to a large decline in the number of greyhounds destroyed. It would also provide the public with information about the numbers of dogs injured in races and the types of injuries.

Mr Theil says the fact there is no code of welfare in this country for greyhound racing means New Zealand is out of step with the rest of the greyhound racing industry. He says the community needs more information about how the greyhound racing industry operates in New Zealand.

“It’s clear the way the industry is currently conducted is cruel and inhumane and it needs to end. We will support their efforts to do so.”

The pair fly out this evening for Australia, where they will continue their fact- finding tour. They are scheduled to meet with representatives of Animals Australia; the activists who broke the greyhound racing live baiting scandal in Brisbane; other animal groups; organisations which rehome racing greyhounds;  and law-makers.

They will also hold talks with Greyhounds Australasia chief executive officer, Scott Parker. greyhoundusa2.JPG

The final stop on Ms Dorchak and Mr Theil’s trip will be Macau, where they hope that the territory’s chief executive Fernando Chui Sai On will announce that the licence of the Canidrome for greyhound racing will not be renewed. Land is at a premium in Macau and there is pressure for the licence to be terminated later this year to make the race track land available for housing and other purposes instead.  Dog tracks in London are at present being repurposed for housing as pressure for housing space intensifies in many countries.

Ms Dorchak says the Canidrome is the only greyhound race track in China and is one of the cruellest in the world. She says between 300 and 400 greyhounds are imported to Macau from Australia each year, and all have short and miserable lives. 400 greyhounds are put to death in Macau every year.

A petition on change.org calling for an end to the killing of dogs for Macau’s greyhound racing industry has already gathered more than 70,000 signatures - https://www.change.org/p/stop-killing-dogs-for-macau-s-greyhound-racing-industry.  Ms Dorchak and Mr Theil will hold a press conference in Macau and deliver the petition to Mr Chui.

While in Macau, Ms Dorchak and Mr Theil will also on 23 July hold a meeting with anti-greyhound racing campaigners from other nations  – the first time groups from different countries have held talks together. She says the occasion will be history in the making, as there is strong determination to end dog racing.

GREY2K USA Worldwide was set up in 2001 and is the largest greyhound protection organisation in the United States. It works to pass stronger greyhound protection laws and to end the cruelty of the greyhound racing industry both nationally and internationally. The organisation also promotes the rescue and adoption of greyhounds across the globe.

GREY2K USA Worldwide earlier this year released an 80-page report about greyhound racing in the United States, titled High Stakes – Greyhound Racing in the United States. The report can be downloaded here - http://www.grey2kusa.org/pdf/USreportWeb.pdf.

Commercial dog tracks operate in eight countries: the United States, New Zealand, Australia, Ireland, Macau, Mexico, the United Kingdom and Vietnam.

Ms Dorchak says anti-racing activists have in recent years been making steady progressing towards shutting down the industry in the United States. When she and Mr Theil began their work in 2001, dog racing was taking place in 15 states. That number has now fallen to seven. 28 dog racing tracks have closed since 2001 and there are now only 21 left in the United States. Dog racing for profit is illegal in 39 states and all dog tracks have closed in an additional four states.

Only in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Iowa, Texas and West Virginia is racing still legal and operational. greyhoundusa3.jpg

GREY2K USA Worldwide’s fact sheet describes greyhound racing as cruel and inhumane and says that thousands of animals at racetracks across the United States endure lives of terrible confinement, with many suffering serious injuries.

“They live inside warehouse-style kennels in rows of stacked cages that are barely large enough for them to stand up or turn around. They are confined for long hours each day, with shredded paper or carpet remnants as bedding.”

The fact sheet says that, according to industry statements, greyhounds are kept in their cages for 20 or more hours a day. A few times a month, they are taken to tracks to compete. A few times a day, they are “turned out” in large groups to relieve themselves, accounting for a total cumulative period of three to five hours a day outside their cages.

GREY2K USA Worldwide says the standard minimum size for dog track cages is 32 inches high by 31 inches wide by 42 inches deep, with some cages slightly larger. The cages are produced by commercial companies specialising in racetrack cages.

“According to the American Greyhound Council, greyhounds stand between 23 inches and 30 inches tall at the shoulder, and weigh between 50 and 85 pounds.  Using these dimensions provided by the industry, large greyhounds cannot stand fully erect in racetrack cages.”

The fact sheet says that greyhounds routinely suffer serious injuries – and sometimes death - during racing and training. Between January 2008 and May 2015, a total of 12,189 greyhound injuries was documented. The most commonly-reported injury was a broken leg. Other injuries included head traumas, electrocution and broken backs.

Thousands of puppies are bred each year for the industry.  According to the National Greyhound Association, there are 300 greyhound breeding facilities and kennels in the United States.

GREY2K USA Worldwide says at least 27 cases of greyhound neglect and cruelty have been documented since 2008. At least eight severe cases of greyhound cruelty or neglect were documented in Florida, including a case at Ebro Greyhound Park in which dozens of greyhounds were starved to death. In Iowa, a trainer was fined and suspended for failing to provide adequate veterinary care for a sick greyhound.  In Texas, a trainer was fined after he caused an injured dog “unnecessary suffering.”

The fact sheet also says dogs at tracks across the country are fed a diet based on “4-D meat.”

“This is meat derived from dying, diseased, disabled and dead livestock that has been deemed unfit for human consumption. The United States Department of Agriculture requires that charcoal be added to this meat to discourage human use. According to an industry handbook, 4-D meat is used at commercial dog tracks because “it is the most economically feasible for the Greyhound industry at this time”.”

GREY2K USA Worldwide says greyhounds are often transported in cramped conditions, including suffering cross-country trips in aluminium trailers. In recent years, there have been a number of cases of animals dying while being transported.

“Thousands of greyhounds are still killed every year. Because several states do not keep adequate public records, there are no verifiable statistics on the number of dogs killed annually. In 2009, Gary Guccione, the Executive Director of the National Greyhound Association, estimated that 2,000 to 3,000 greyhounds were killed annually. In 2011, the National Greyhound Association acknowledged that there are “no cumulative annual records” available regarding the ultimate fate of racing greyhounds.” greyhoundusa4.JPG

The fact sheet also records that greyhounds have in recent years repeatedly tested positive for cocaine and other drugs. Female greyhounds are given anabolic steroids to prevent estrus. This can lead to increased aggression, loss of vigour, virilisation and weight gain.

Dogs are raced on both the hottest summer days and the coldest winter days. More information about greyhound racing in the United States and the work of GREY2K USA Worldwide can be found at www.GREY2KUSA.org.

And the cruelty of American greyhound racing is mirrored in other countries. The public in Australia was shocked to learn of “live baiting” being used in the greyhound racing industry in Victoria. This involves training greyhounds by getting them to pursue a live animal dragged around a track as a training device.  There are numerous media reports about the cruelty involved in this practice -  http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/scope-of-live-baiting-scandal-in-victoria-revealed-in-final-report/story-fni0fit3-1227392624346 and http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2015/mar/11/entire-greyhound-racing-victoria-board-resigns-in-wake-of-live-baiting-scandal.

In New Zealand, Ms Charlton and other activists have documented the cruelty of our greyhound racing industry. TV 3’s  3D programme has reported repeatedly on the industry - http://www.3news.co.nz/tvshows/3d/shocking-new-greyhound-revelations-2013111321#axzz3fjjdcsIY.

Preventing cruelty to greyhounds can only be achieved with a global ban on greyhound racing. 



Tags:


Posted by AaronC on
Great article, thanks for covering this!
Posted by Kiwigreys on
What absolute garbage, nothing new there.....
Posted by greyhound fan on
What bullshit!!!!!! What else can I say.
Posted by flip on
these people can come to Australian greyhound tracks if they like....only thing I think if they want there is a $10,000 donations to the greyhound industry that could be made...if they don't support greyhound racing then why should they be allowed on track at race meetings they will never be allowed on course during race meetings...but like I said if they want a $10000 donations to greyhound industry might allow them a visit...these 2 people took in $500000 in donations last year and $200000 of it was paid out in "wages" only $9651 went to charitable contributions.....so they can afford to donate a little themselves.....
Posted by Karon Blakemore on
We greyhound owners/trainers/breeders are all sick to death of these organizations who realistically are collecting monies not for the benefit of future homing of our beautiful greys, but on all their overheads and trips and campains all over the world. They stoop to the lowest of the low situations to make us all look bad, when it's a known fact that the bad egg scenario in our industry is a very small % of people.
Pity they can do so much damage world wide. Wouldn't it be a wonderful world if they utilized all the thousands of dollars in donations they bleet for was used in a better constructive manner for say properties set up as Rechoming Farms etc. Instead their kill rate is so high it's disgusting. Are they hear for the greys? I think not. They are just dollar collectors for their own agenda!
We the good, honest and caring people of greyhounds will never let your organization stomp us down and out! You can try you can yell, you can write as you do, all keyboard warriors but you will never get rid of us. Because we love our dogs, and our dogs love what they do! So piss off and chase some Polar Bears for a change! A longstanding greyhound breeder/owner/trainer, and loving every minute of it!
Posted by Emily on
I am astounded at the illogical comment by Karon. Ummmm and why should Grey2K be paying to clean up your industry's mess with their donations? Here's an idea- if you can't rehome your own damn dogs then stop fricken breeding so many for your own greedy agenda. Their kill rate is high??? They aren't the ones breeding the thousands of excess dogs- it's you useless lot- take some responsibility for your own damn problems and stop passing the buck. There would be no hounds being killed were it not for you- the kill rate is high because you use, abuse and then dispose of so many. Your industry is a leech on our society and it's about time it got flicked off, for good! Get a real job!
Posted by Jason Caley on
Emily - it's not good to be taking pot-shots at fellow posters. If you have a point to make then by all means make it. But you need not do so while having a go at anyone with a position and opinion that is clearly different to your own.

I note that Karon had the courage and conviction to post her full name, same as I have. Perhaps you should disclose exactly who you are so we can work out your connections and affiliations.

I have only one counterpoint to your statements and that is that you state 'Their kill rates are high'. Quote us a reputable source of these kill rates? Did you know that most greyhounds either retire through gap, retired as pets or are retained for breeding (stud/broodie) services.

The industry term is unfortunate in that dogs that don't make the track are referred to as 'wastage' but I can tell you with hand on heart I have not had to put a single dog down that I formerly trained. They have all gone to loving homes and I can even give you their contact details so you can ask the owners themselves.

There are many many reputable people I know in this industry who love their dogs. We treat them at the top of the totem pole because happy dogs generally perform better than miserable ones. Can you say the same about pets? Also perhaps regardling killings you should ask the RSPCA how many dogs are put to death each year? Also ask them how prospective owners are vetted to ensure that they are suitable and responsible owners for the animal they are about to adopt? GAP does these things.

Good luck,
JC
Posted by Jason Caley on
I forgot to mention the industry is taking active steps to ascertain how to prolong the racing career of slower dogs and to afford opportunities (races and alternative racing) for dogs that do not win often. At the end of the day I think a dog that has a sense of purpose and loves doing what it was bred to do is a far happier member in our world than something locked up in an appartment and given walks maybe twice a day if it is really lucky. This is why the barkers and misfits are often small toy dogs. You will rarely find a greyhound without a good obedient temperament that makes an excellent pet and is quiet compared to mutts.
There's a reason for this.. and it is called training.
Posted by Robert on
Grey2k has a history of disseminating lies and misleading propaganda about greyhound racing. It's no surprise that track officials would not welcome people like this on their premises. Grey2k is nothing more than a husband and wife exploiting the greyhounds to generate income to their "non profit" organization.
Posted by AaronC on
Wow so dog racing tax bludgers are happy to point finger at animal protection advocares- probably because they think protection of animals is not a justifiable use of money. Meanwhile they kill greyhounds hand over fist for ..you guessed it.. Money. You have to love their lack of aearenedd of their self centered hypocrisy.
They turn these beautiful animals into racing weapons and then cast them aside.they dope them injure them and live bait them, and then go crook at animal welfare spokespeople. These greyhound parasites are such a waste of space.
If you put greyhounds on the track, you're no animal lover. Your a gambling addled selfish racing parasite, and its nothing but pleasure watching your "hall of fame" heroes face jail for live baiting. Its pleasant to see breeding schemes scrapped, its refreshing to see fee increases and official bodies exposed as the bunch of incompetent hicks they are. Good riddance to dog racing cruelty.
Posted by Jill on
So happy to see the spotlight shone on greyhound racing in New Zealand.
It tends to be a sport mostly for elderly men who have very little compassion for the dogs. They may think they do, but all it really comes down to for them is money.
Posted by AaronSea on
The Anti-Greyhound racing activists are not welcome at my home either.

How'd they get a visa to come here in the first place? Hopefully they didn't mislead the immigration officers at the boarder and arrive on a visitor visa. Obviously they're here with an agenda other than a holiday.
Posted by Georgie Boy on
Another story based on propaganda and emotive half truths.....

Theil and his cohorts had no interest in finding out about the industry, they arrived for one purpose to try and be disruptive.

Fact the grey 2k people turned up on track at Auckland unannounced. They indicated they wanted to find out about the industry in Nz, but an no stage approached any trainers, owners or officials. After taking photographs, standing on the dias and yelling ban greyhound racing they were asked to leave.

The GPL and grey 2k would gather much more creditability from those outside and inside the industry if they actually stuck to the truth, and didnt embellish there story at every opportunity. Its disappointing that they cant stick to the facts. Until such time that they actually approach the greyhound industry and issues from a balanced perspective they will have little influence over the industry or the government of the day....
Posted by Dez on
Are they in a lovely sanctuary paid for by the industry?

There must be thousands of them all over the country living out their full 15 years rather than shot at 2 years or drowned when a pup.
Posted by AaronC on
If anyone's wondering why there's an outbreak of industry participants its because they posted it on their forum:
http://greyhound-data.com/knowledge.php?b=4¬e=1114417

In the real world most people are thoroughly disgusted by greyhound racing, its just that lifes demands mean that few have time to respond to racing idiots.

The racing idiots on the other hand are defending their paycheck, and if there's one way to motivate people, take away their paycheck, or face them with the prospect of having to enter the taxpaying workforce like the rest of us. That's why they are posting. They are feeling very very threatened.

One day in the near future dog racing will be gone altogether and these little to and fro arguments will be long forgotten.
Posted by AC on
Congratulations to the AGRC for not allowing you idiots onto their facility.Why would they???Any pro greyhound racing organisation shouldn't give you the time of day,as all you are doing is trying to ruin their industry.
Knowledge is power and you obviously are lacking in the knowledge side of things in greyhound racing in NZ.
Worry about what happens in your own country and let us kiwis worry about ours.
You yanks would be way better off trying to sort out your homeless people situation.I watched a video of a homeless boy sitting on a sidewalk freezing with nothing but clothes he was wearing and a black plastic bag.Hundreds of people walked straight passed him.After 3 hours he finally got some assistance from.........yes you guessed it ,another homeless person.Well done America you rock.
Posted by Jason Caley on
@AaronC - stop hiding behind an alias. Disclose your identity and affiliations. Otherwise cowardly posts with missirected incriminations don't help your cause (which is biased and evident by its very content).

I'm not here to convince you of your opinions you've made (e.g. old man sport, industry participants are tax bludgers, running a dog against its own kind in a controlled environment is crueler than unfetted running of a 19m/sec dog for speed with corgis in a dog park etc.)

You are incorrect on so many levels you clearly are not involved with anyone in the sport, only believing what you read from propaganda unit Grey2K (Dear Leader???).

But to refute your opinions:

1. Greyhounds racing in a controlled environment with their own species who are trained and with a vet present on course is far safer than the smish-smash crash-bang occurences with mutts at dog parks.

2. Tax bludgers - really? Ask the Access Cab (disabled person) driver who does this as a hobby or the executive trader or myself? Happy to show how many taxes I paid last year mate!!

3. Old person sport - yeah you may be right on that one if the facebook/propaganda of group think folks keep posting unsubstantiated drivel like those accusations made to those who actually love their dogs and do everything they can to extract the best potential they can from them. (some of us actually just love seeing our dogs run, winning is gravy and money is not all that important)
Posted by AaronC on
Jason I make no secret of who I am and you should well know that I was one of three people who founded the GPLNZ.

I'm not going to bother replying in detail as greyhound campaigning is all about your effort to preserve your cashflow and every second I devote to fighting against racing cruelty, is a second I spend at a loss to mine.

If you think injuries are not so bad in racing then why does the NZ industry make great efforts to hide this information.

its going to be quite funny when one day dog racing is gone and we will all reflect on how much time we lost getting there. But, it will be worth it!

You should probably think about alternative career options don't you think?
Posted by Jason Caley on
I'm a hobby trainer mate. Pay my taxes and work in ICT. Never said anything about racing injuries, I just know that there are more occuring with pets in dog parks (unleashed) every day. And there are no vets present to render assistance at these pet facilities.

In terms of welfare and longevity of the racing greyhound I am advocate of straight track racing. Most injuries occur on the bends when the dogs bunch up. Reference here http://www.australianracinggreyhound.com/australian-greyhound-racing/coursing-greyhound-racing/time-to-go-back-to-straight-racing/66169

With respect to credentials Aaron, sorry the GPLNZ doesn't cut very much because there is no 'Founders bios' up on the site. But anyway, I'l leave you to your views. Like I said you are entitled to them and I disagree with your stance.

Bye.
Posted by Jason Caley on
@AaronC: I see you are a 'freelance video game developer' based in Wellington. Yep that's a real job alrighty. LMFAO!! Freelance is a nice touch though. How many taxes did you pay again last year mate? We can scrub out our confidential tax number and address and compare the pears eh?
;)
Posted by Karen Remetis on
I agree that greyhounds should have great lives. So should children, boxers, border collies and every human. As a consultant, I can verify that EVERYONE in the world wants to come to New Zealand. We are seen as exotic and fabulous. I've brought out a few Americans myself, cost around $12k. but it was for work and I paid. First question to be answered - how much has been paid from donations to re-house greyhounds to bring Americans out for a nice trip to our beautiful country?airfares, hotels, meals, transport (people donating their time is a cost) and, what on earth are they here for? do they have some sort of amazing knowledge about how to feed and house a dog? This is a junket and funders of GPLNZ need to ask for accounting transparency. The money is being used for trips, hotels and not for re-housing greys.
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