Industry Myths BUSTED


I love my dogs.

This claim is misguided because:

1- Greyhounds are valued as business assets, not companions.

2- Racing dogs for profit is a cruel pursuit in itself: participants can (or will) only keep greyhounds that earn their keep, and there’s only so many times a dog can race around a track before repetitive stress causes bones and soft tissues to fatigue and fail.


Greyhounds love to run and race.

‘Running’ is not synonymous with ‘racing’.

1- ALL greyhounds love to run, even if they aren’t fast enough to win races and even when they are older than 4 years. They don’t want to chase. If racing truly is about celebrating the greyhounds’ ability to run, prizemoney should be swapped for ribbons.

2- Greyhounds must be trained to race. If the dogs loved racing, each puppy in every litter would chase and live baiting wouldn’t be “rampant”.


Animal welfare is the top priority.

Australia has had a commercial dog racing industry since 1927. And yet, the industry has apparently never collected and analyzed trackside injury data to improve dog welfare in the most basic way possible.


The greyhound racing industry can prioritize animal welfare.

1- Statistics suggest that punters, who keep greyhound racing alive, are not aware of, or concerned by, animal welfare issues in the industry. This does not motivate participants to improve the conditions for the dogs.

2- Greyhound racing is a performance sport. There are limited ways of naturally improving competitive advantage for the dogs, so the potential prizemoney strongly motivates participants to instead use unethical and illegal techniques (live baiting) and technologies (drugs).


Stop tainting an entire industry based on a few bad apples.

We saw in February 2015, that those ‘bad apples’ were once industry legends. Does being a ‘bad apple’ improve success in this industry?


Why refer to the dogs killed in greyhound racing when the RSPCA euthanizes [thousands]* of dogs each year!

This is a ludicrous comparison given that the RSPCA does not breed the dogs for profit. Furthermore, the number of surrendered and seized dogs euthanized each year does not lower the greyhound racing industry’s death toll in any way.

*The number quoted is highly variable, and sometimes includes cats.


The overbreeding of greyhounds can be controlled.

This claim is futile in an industry whose most prolific breeders are also the highest earning and most respected participants. The mass production method, with all its associated and accepted ‘wastage’, is the undisputed way of breeding winners.


Greyhounds retire from racing careers.

A career is “an occupation undertaken for a significant period of a person’s life and with opportunities for progress”. A greyhound will only race for a maximum of 2 years (2 – 4 years of age) when they live comfortably for 12 years, and with a kill rate of up to 96%, most greyhounds aren’t given the opportunity to progress to companion animal life. Furthermore, a ‘career’ implies the dogs receive payment for their efforts. Racing greyhounds are instead “nominated” to compete by their owners and trainers, who are the recipients of any prizemoney won. As greyhounds evidently don’t have careers, they also cannot “retire”.


Author: eleonoragullone

I am an author, adjunct associate professor in psychology and have advocated for animal welfare for more than 15 years. On the basis of my extensive research, I can confidently argue that if we cultivate a culture of compassion toward all of our non-human citizens, including those currently exploited for human use (such as food, sport and experimentation), current and future generations will benefit through reduced antisocial and violent behaviour toward all sentient beings including humans. Over my 25-year career as an academic, I have published over 100 scholarly articles in refereed academic journals and have also conducted a number of projects examining the link between aggression toward humans and cruelty toward animals. In 2000, I founded a group within the Australian Psychological Society focused on promoting positive interactions between humans and animals. This work has resulted in several scholarly publications including a book published in 2012, titled Animal cruelty, Antisocial Behaviour and Aggression: More than a link.

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