SOS Animal calls for a ban on greyhound racing
The campaign group SOS Animal has launched a civic law proposal aimed at ending greyhound racing in Portugal. These dogs are trained with violent methods from the age of two months, and are often abandoned or killed when they reach the age of two and are considered too old to race.
Link to the law proposal: https://participacao.parlamento.pt/initiatives/878
As greyhound racing is a business which yields billions, SOS Animal stresses that it’s not about the dogs being able to run free, but about the abusive environment in which they race, where they are ‘doped and trained with electric shock collars, suffering ‘before, during and after racing; neglected, imprisoned and forced to give blood for the rest of their lives, or even slaughtered when they are no longer of any use for this kind of human entertainment.’
‘are subjected to violent and stressful training sessions; their lives are miserable and wretched and they often end up dead or abandoned.’
‘In the specific case of greyhounds, they have extremely developed muscle definition especially on the chest and on the back, where they are usually bald, due to the use of metal training equipment. This type of training equipment consists of mechanised horizontal devices subdivided by an electrified piece of sheet metal which goes round at high speed, forcing the dogs to run in circles. When the dogs don’t keep up, they get electric shocks.’
Investigative reports by animal rights organisations from around the world have revealed that the use of doping has promoted drug trafficking, and veterinary treatments are being carried out by unqualified persons with no professional training, and that these animals have high mortality rates and low average life expectancy.
On the same day that the law proposal was put to the Republic Assembly, TVI also broadcast a report on the topic: https://tvi24.iol.pt/sociedade/alexandra-borges/o-vazio-legal-que-permite-as-corridas-de-galgos-e-o-sofrimento-dos-animais-em-debate
The activists also referred to an interview in the magazine Visão with some of the galgos’ owners. Many of them admitted that
‘they tended to use inflexible nets, and made the dogs wear electric shock collars which could be operated by remote control to give small shocks (accompanied by a sound). The poor dogs risked severe injury if they became entangled in the nets, and if they did, they would be killed.’
The law proposal aims to establish a ban on greyhound racing in Portugal, that is a ban on ‘all events involving training for racing, whether using live baiting or baiting with dead prey (usually hares), or with no bait at all. The ban affects all types of dog racing whether on amateur or professional tracks, on any kind of terrain or in any type of facility, whether on public or private land and whether for competitive or recreational purposes.’
An online petition has also been launched with the same aims.
Last June the left wing parties already put forward a law proposal to ban dog racing to the Assembly of the Republic:
In Portugal, there are six amateur tracks where dog races are organised for the national championships. Races take place throughout the year in Vila Nova de Famalicão, Povoa do Varzim, Vila do Conde, Bombarral, Alenquer and Cuba do Alentejo. There are also 23 greyhounds who hold national racing certificates. This list is in an international database, managed by professional gamblers.
Original article: https://www.esquerda.net/artigo/sos-animal-pede-o-fim-das-corridas-de-galgos