News of the reversal of the greyhound racing ban in Argentina, where their congress is considering a nationwide ban, is receiving global support.
There are reports of widespread mistreatment of dogs in the Argentinian industry, including some owners giving their dogs concoctions of performance-enhancing drugs.
Journalist Isabel de Estrada said live baiting with small animals was common, and unwanted dogs were left on the side of the street to die.
“Sometimes they use Viagra, cocaine, amphetamines,” she said.
“It’s all underground. They exchange recipes in forums on the internet.”
Greyhound racing is already completely forbidden in some parts of Argentina, while in other areas a special license is required.
De Estrada started a greyhound rescue and re-homing organisation called Fundacion Zorba after writing a book 10 years ago investigating the greyhound industry in Argentina.
She said police were turning a blind eye to the many people who race without a license.
“The province of Buenos Aires is the largest province, where we have most of the races,” she said.
“Really the races are forbidden, but as we don’t have penalties it’s a very tough world and it’s incredibly popular all over the country.
“The problem is that greyhounds mean money and there are many poor people in Argentina at the moment.”
Veterinarian Leandro Felipeti told the Al Jazeera news agency there should be tougher regulations, rather than a total ban.
“Two years ago we used to see how dog owners drugged their dogs with cocaine, amphetamines and other things.
“We need the Government to regulate this. Abuse happens because there is no regulation.”
But greyhound owners have pushed back against the abuse allegations.
Juan Jose Provera, a greyhound owner in the province of Cordoba, told Al Jazeera that the Argentinian Government was treating greyhound owners like murderers.
“It hurts to see that the country thinks we are mistreating our dogs. They’re like family,” he said.
“They want to ban the races, but that’s a mistake.”
In the United States, the industry has really collapsed. We’re down to only five states who allow it, 18 operational tracks in the whole country.
To put it in context, at its peak about $US3.5 billion was being bet on dog races. Now it’s only $US500 million.
Vía | http://www.abc.net