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Discursive writing: Greyhound Racing

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Discuss whether greyhound racing should be abolished. Sipping �58 bottles of champagne in the lap of luxury, lobster thermidor on the menu, in executive, air conditioned boxes as the world's finest canine athletes battle in a game of speed, fitness and stamina. �100,000 for the winner. Elegance, culture, grace. This is what springs to nearly everybody's mind when this subject is mentioned: "Greyhound racing". This is the romantic image. But does anybody ever stop and think about what happens behind the scenes? Do you? "So," I hear you say, "People want to go and race some dogs. That's nice. What could be the problem?" Well, we should start with the basic facts. How many people in the UK own animals do you think? It was estimated in 2001 that there were around 7.5 million cats, 6.1 million dogs, 5 million reptiles, 1.1 million rabbits, 0.9 million hamsters and 0.7 million guinea pigs kept as pets. Total that up, and that is an estimated 21.3 million: If you piled all of those up, one on top of the other, you would get a rather unsteady pile about 3362 miles high. That's roughly the distance between London and New York. So, for a nation of animal lovers, you would expect us to treat them with some respect, wouldn't you? Well it would seem that love of animals in this country certainly doesn't extend to greyhounds. ...read more.


The greyhound racing industry demands this unreasonable, unnatural quantity of breeding, and yet an enormous amount of the dogs coming from this are killed, and never do fulfil what they were bred to do. So, what about the lucky number who do make it to the track? Is it over for them? Well, star greyhounds (In other words, the dogs that make their owners huge wads of cash) are well cared for in life, fed, groomed, and watered. That doesn't make the "sport" itself any more humane, though. The fast, winning greyhounds are few and far between, for one. The losing dogs cost their trainers enough; do you really think that they will pay extra money to make the dog comfortable? The sheer horror and scale of the massacre of these dogs can be highlighted even by the money the industry is spending each year on veterinary "care" for the greyhounds. A vet from the Nottingham racing track admitted to destroying about 10 perfectly healthy dogs a week. Let's look a little closer at the lives of the winning greyhounds. On the British Greyhound Racing's Hall of Fame, one dog alone was listed for this decade. This would make stars like "Rapid Ranger" about one in every 360,000 dogs bred. He soon became hot property, though his racing career came to an end at four and a half years old, when he was knocked out on the track. ...read more.


Consequently, millions of dogs each year are electrocuted, strangled, skinned alive or bludgeoned to death in Korea, and all because they were not fast enough to make a profit. Many photographs such as these are on the internet as examples of just how horrifically treated these creatures are all around the world, and it sickens me that the industry claims these dogs are well treated, and that an evening spent watching these majestic creatures being hurt and oppressed could cause anybody pleasure. Is this cold-blooded exploitation of innocent animals for nothing more than fun and money worth it to you? The only way to stop this would be to make it illegal to place or accept bets on dog races and limiting the value of prizes to a tiny amount. This way, the huge demand for greyhounds caused by the commercialised finance based industry, would disappear. The racing could only be done as a hobby or illegally - and so less breeding would occur and this would mean less unnecessary slaughter. In the words of Annette Crosbie, "Hundreds of greyhounds are bred in the hope of getting a winner. The remainder are surplus to requirements and have no future. It is, bluntly, a state of affairs which reflects little glory on Britain as a so-called nation of animal lovers. I have to mention them because no-one cares". She is right. Britain seems to be tragically unaware that greyhound racing is responsible for the suffering and death of thousands of beautiful, gentle dogs each year. They deserve a voice. They deserve a life. ...read more.

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