The New South Wales government has passed a bill to ban greyhound racing, in a country where this sport – a term I use very loosely – is still mostly legal. Greyhound racing is problematic for a number of reasons:
- It can lead to overbreeding of dogs
- High euthanasia rates for dogs who are injured, or who are no longer suitable for racing
- Injuries to thousands of dogs
- Racing dogs live very solitary lives, deprived of human contact and socialization
- Live baits, in the form of rabbits. piglets, or possums, are sometimes used to train the dogs, who are sighthounds.
Although there are several societies that rescue former racing dogs and put them in foster homes, and, eventually, in permanent homes, not all of these dogs can be accommodated by the societies. In most cases, the greyhound industry regulates itself, which is hardly a reassurance that animals will be treated well.
Greyhound racing is not, unfortunately, illegal in Canada; rather, betting is allowed on only horse racing. This means that amateur greyhound racing can occur in Canada, e.g., the Calida Greyhound Race Track in Red Deer, Alberta. Lure coursing is practised also in Canada. There isn’t much information about the treatment and fate of racing greyhounds in Canada, unfortunately.
Information about greyhound rescue groups in Canada may be found here.