Greyhound Protection League |
"Drug Test Positive, Tip Of The Wrong Iceberg"
A recent prohibited substance conviction in the greyhound racing industry may have set off alarm bells, but greyhound
racing industry watchdogs are concerned there is a bigger problem going unaddressed. A recent Australian ABC news
investigation into the dog racing industry in New South Wales, revealed shocking euthanasia numbers and allegations of
widespread undetectable illicit drug use. The drug Erythropoietin, more commonly known as EPO is alleged by renowned
industry vet Ted Humphries to be in widespread use in the horse and dog racing codes, because it is not easily detected.
The drug increases the number of red blood cells, which carry oxygen to the muscles, but is not detectable in urine
tests. Cyclist Lance Armstrong was recently stripped of medals due to being caught using this drug.
Aaron Cross of the Greyhound Protection League of New Zealand says that New Zealand's testing regimes may not be robust
enough to protect Kiwi greyhounds, nor gambling patrons, from this kind of drug abuse.
"New Zealand is always going to be behind Australia in terms of efficient drug detection simply because our industry is
smaller. There's always going to be cheats, and there is no reason why EPO wouldn't be in use here. In fact its likely
they will try it on here because we're a softer target"
He says that rather than telling the public how great their testing regime is when catching trainers feeding their dogs
the wrong bread, the Racing Integrity Unit should be doing serious drug testing and be conducting pathology tests to
check for EPO in greyhound blood, not their urine, and question why the RIU wouldn't be doing that anyway.
"Unfortunately we cannot really trust the Racing Integrity Unit. They were recently caught doctoring injury counts,
listing greyhounds that had been euthanized due to the seriousness of their racing-related injuries, as "retired"." This
mysterious behaviour on their part brings the entire racing industry into further disrepute, as this body is charged
with, well, integrity. There needs to be an explanation from the RIU as to why their officials were writing dishonest
reports, and to date there's been no explanation forthcoming from the racing industry as to why they were actively
misleading the public."
The Greyhound Protection League has launched an online petition, requesting an independent inquiry into the alleged
deaths and disappearances of thousands of greyhounds bred and imported for the racing industry. It has reached half its
target number in the first tens days of being posted online. Mr Cross says he has no doubt it will reach its goal and is
calling upon the public to add their weight to the request, while labeling the industries desire to keep any
investigation out of the public eye as "suspicious and shameful, but not surprising".
"They have a lot to hide, if the public saw what was happening to greyhounds in the gambling industry, there would be
widespread condemnation, and a real problem on the governments hands. Animal based gambling benefits a niche audience,
whereas wider public sentiment is now going against the use of animals for entertainment purposes, especially when the
animals are being hurt and killed on a regular basis. Members of Parliament will soon have to choose sides over
greyhound racing, and they would do well to check in with public sentiment on the matter."
"Greyhounds are lovely animals and the racing industries intent is to simply profit from them. Its costing them their
lives. Its time the public had a say, its time politicians listened, and its time the brutality was brought to an end."