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Greyhound deaths a reminder of this cruel industry

THE smothering to death of 11 greyhounds on a ferry to France (regardless of the precise cause or the events leading up to it) is yet another reminder of how vulnerable these dogs are in the context of our so-called greyhound "industry".

Greyhounds are not generally perceived or treated as other canines are, thanks to their speed and agility that set them apart as ideal for racing.

Unfortunately, once their running days are over they have little commercial value. Though they can make excellent pets (like any breed), many of them end up getting a whack across the head with a spade or shovel, or a bullet in the brain.

Once the identification ear-tags or microchips are removed from the carcasses, they can be dumped discreetly.

A few of those sad, shallow graves have been unearthed around the country in recent years - evidence of how a section of the "industry" deals with retired runners.

It is also the "industry" that encompasses live hare coursing in which timid, wild creatures are used as bait for the greyhound to chase and terrorise.

Many hares are mauled or otherwise injured when the dogs strike them, pin them to the ground or toss them into the air like paper toys. Greyhounds are fed live animals prior to both coursing and track racing to enhance their performance - a practice known as "blooding" - and doping of greyhounds is widespread.

There have been convictions over the years for blooding and doping, but most of this activity proceeds unabated, well hidden from public view.

JOHN FITZGERALD

Campaign for the Abolition of Cruel Sports

Belfast Telegraph

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