Florida bans greyhound racing
US Political elections are funny ol’ things. It’s a complex political system that I won’t even pretend to understand and in the current political climate, you can bet that there will be plenty of political stories flying around. But amongst the chaos, there is one bit of good news that may have passed you by.
The state of Florida has banned greyhound racing. In a vote on Proposition 13, the people of the sunshine state voted 68% in favour of ending the cruel sport, which will be phased out by 2020.
This is indeed fantastic news for the long dogs of Florida, but what about those living in Great Britain?
Last week I spoke on the panel at the APDAWG (All-party Parliamentary Dog Advisory Welfare Group) about the welfare of greyhounds in the UK. It was an interesting event, and I shared the panel with Trudy Baker of Greyt Exploitations, Dr Andrew Knight, Clarissa Baldwin of the Greyhound Forum and Mark Bird of the Greyhound Board of Great Britain (GBGB).
As you can imagine, there were differing views on the panel; there was a broad consensus that the GBGB was not doing enough. The event faced criticism from the racing press, complaining that 90% of attendees were ‘anti-racing’. But whose fault is that? All were welcome, but perhaps those that showed up just showed who really cares about the welfare of racing greyhounds.
Shortly following that event was Guy Fawkes weekend, a weekend where our wildlife and domestic pets cower in fear under a barrage of explosions. It is perhaps one of the worst weekends of the year for racing greyhounds as they are forced outside to race with fireworks going off. To make matters worse, some tracks host displays at the stadiums, with racing on the same night.
The League had three ad vans up and down the country, supporting the work of the amazing greyhound welfare groups in Manchester, Sheffield, Brighton and Hove. Those guys are out in the cold every weekend raising awareness of the plight of Britain’s greyhounds, and we were happy to lend them our support. The vans were a great success and we have had requests from groups up and down the country so expect to see a van at a stadium near you soon.
We will not rest until greyhound racing is brought to an end in the UK, but for now, let us thank and congratulate the people of Florida for leading the way, and banning greyhound racing.