Tell USDA to Include Greyhound Racing in the Animal Welfare Act

The Animal Welfare Act was enacted in 1966 to ensure that animals are treated humanely during transport and when used in commerce. Congress regulated the transport, sale, purchase, housing, and care of animals used for exhibition purposes. Congress did not specify what groups of animals would be covered under the act, rather, it left that task to the applicable regulatory agency, the USDA.

While the major exception to the AWA has traditionally been for farm animals, the United States Department of Agriculture has also excluded greyhounds used for racing in America from these protections. See 9 C.F.R. s. 1.1. This is a serious travesty because greyhounds are used for exhibition all the time, in fact, 39 of the 50 United States, Greyhound racing is still allowed and thousands of greyhounds are forced to race for human entertainment and gambling.

A total of over 23,000 dogs are being abused at these racetracks every year. It is hard to imagine the detriment to life and limb these dogs face as they are ferried from one track to another, spending up to 22 hours a day in a tiny cage. Many dogs have tested positive for performance enhancing drugs such as steroids and cocaine. Almost all face significant injuries during the course of their lives, including broken legs, heart attacks and spinal cord injuries. See the video for examples.

Finally when they are no longer profitable for the industry, if they have lived to that point. these greyhounds are simply killed. We believe that the AWA should be expanded in scope by the USDA to include greyhound racing, and the USDA should enforce the protections.
The Animal Welfare Act (%u201CAWA%u201D) was enacted in 1966 to ensure that animals are treated humanely during transport and when used in commerce. Congress regulated the transport, sale, purchase, housing, and care of animals used for exhibition purposes. Congress did not specify what groups of animals would be covered under the act, rather, it left that task to the applicable regulatory agency, the USDA.

While the major exception has traditionally been for farm animals, the United States Department of Agriculture has also excluded greyhounds used for racing in America. See 9 C.F.R. %uFFFD 1.1 (%u201CDefinitions%u201D). This is a serious travesty because greyhounds are used for %u201Cexhibition%u201D all the time, in fact, 39 of the 50 United States, Greyhound racing is still allowed and thousands of greyhounds are forced to race for human entertainment and gambling.

A total of over 23,000 dogs are being abused at these racetracks every year. It is hard to imagine the detriment to life and limb these dogs face as they are ferried from one track to another, spending up to 22 hours a day in a tiny cage. Many dogs have tested positive for %u201Cperformance enhancing drugs%u201D such as steroids and cocaine. Almost all face significant injuries during the course of their lives, including broken legs, heart attacks and spinal cord injuries.

Finally when they are no longer profitable for the industry, if they have lived to that point. these greyhounds are simply killed. We believe that the AWA should be expanded to include greyhound racing, and the USDA should alter the regulations that would enforce those measures.
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