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Animals in Sports

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  • 1. Animals in Sports
    Chapter 6
  • 2. United States
    Major sports in which animals are involved…
  • 3. Horse Racing
  • 4. Greyhound Racing
  • 5. Sled Dog Racing
  • 6. Rodeos
  • 7. Except for animal fighting, all of these are considered legitimate sports.
    Animal Fighting
  • 8. The legitimate sports were initially about showing off their animals, in a friendly, nonthreatening way.
    “Friendly Competitions”
  • 9. Horse racing and greyhound racing are associated with legalized gambling.
    Rodeos and sled dog races depend on sponsors.
    Animal fighting is largely funded by illegal gambling.
    Money got involved
  • 10. Some are very well cared for, others are terribly abused.
    Skilled animals are profitable for people.
  • 11. Some retire into comfortable lives.
  • 12. Others are sent to slaughter
  • 13. …or live lives of neglect after their performing days are over
  • 14. Spectrum of Thought… Figure 6.1
    Leave the animals alone.
    Expose practices we consider harmful to animals.
    It is a recreational activity humans have a right to enjoy.
  • 15. Animal Sports Controversies
    Animal Sports Enthusiasts
    Critics
    Animals are doing what they do naturally.
    Animal are well cared for because this is profitable.
    Safeguards exist to ensure animals are not mistreated.
    Medical care is available.
    Animals have no choice in the matter.
    Not natural behavior but trained or bred for
    Money is the main motivator.
  • 16. Overbreeding
    Mistreatment (training, performances, off- season)
    Lack of veterinary care
    The ways in which unwanted sports animals are destroyed
    Problems:
  • 17. Horse Sports
    See Table 6.1
  • 18. Multibillion dollar industry including owners, managers, breeders, trainers, riders, feed suppliers, veterinarians, track personnel
    Thoroughbred Racing
  • 19. Horse races in U.S. (2007) – 51,304
    Pur$e – amount won by owners of winning horses - $1.2 billion (U.S.)
    About 160 Thoroughbred racetracks in U.S.
    Numbers
  • 20. Three most prestigious in U.S.
  • 21. Welfare of Racing Horses
  • 22. Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation
    2007 – allocated more than $1.1 million to universities conducting equine research projects – over $15 million in 15 years
    Receives financial support from donations from Thoroughbred clubs, racetracks, private individuals, racing organizations and special events staged by horse racetracks
  • 23. Opposition to Horse Racing
  • 24. Thoroughbred racehorses have been inbred to the point that their bodies are too heavy for their fragile, thin legs.
  • 25. Broodmares (mares used for breeding)
    …forced to come into season at unnatural times to lengthen training season for offspring
  • 26. When controversy erupted after race horse breakdowns at a Pennsylvania race track, Michael Gill became one of the most hated men in racing.
    Solutions?
    Racehorses are drugged when injured or sick to still compete.
  • 27. In New York state, a trainer or assistant trainer must have a license from the state Racing and Wagering Board.
    Owner Liability
    Horse Racing and Trainer Liability in NYS
  • 28. New York Law
    Paragallo Convicted on 33 Counts of Misdemeanor Animal Cruelty - 2010
  • 29. Horses are run too young, risking damage to bones that are not fully mature.
    Track surfaces are too hard and unnatural.
  • 30. …that have a vested interested in income
    New York
    Regulated by state governments
  • 31. …during training and races.
    Racehorses suffer injuries and deaths
  • 32. Shattered right leg – euthanized 8 months later
    Barbaro – Kentucky Derby 2006
  • 33. Dislocated ankle - euthanized
    Pine Island – Breeders’ Cup 2006
  • 34. Broke both front ankles - euthanized
    Eight Belles – Kentucky Derby 2008
  • 35. Racehorse deaths by state – 2007
    No data for Arkansas, Michigan & Nebraska
    Figures 6.2, 6.3, 6.4
    Deaths among racehorses are not uncommon.
  • 36. AlexBrownRacing
    …used to be an exercise rider for thoroughbred trainer Tim Woolley and others at Fair Hill, where 2006 Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro was trained
  • 37. Death of a Derby Winner: Slaughterhouse Fate for Ferdinand
    Blood-Horse Magazine, July 2005
  • 38. Horse Slaughter
    …the fate of untold numbers of injured and retired racehorses
  • 39. Retired Racing Horse Adoption
    Thoroughbred Retirement Fund
    New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program
  • 40. Rodeos
    Spanish origin: “to surround”
  • 41. …with cowboys informally showing off riding skills
    Originally about herding cattle for market
  • 42. Horses
    Bulls
    Steers
    Calves
    Events include:
    Bareback bull riding
    Saddle bronc riding
    Bareback horse riding
    Steer wrestling
    Calf and steer roping
    Barrel racing
    Animals used in rodeos:
  • 43. Professional Rodeo Cowboys Assn.
  • 44. Welfare of Rodeo Animals
    PRCA
    Opponents
    Claims extensive animal welfare program and that veterinarian onsite during a rodeo
    Says animals wear flank straps alleviating pain
    Not representative of old west
    Injured rodeo animals not humanely euthanized
    21st century animals are more tame than 1800s and need to be provoked
    Common practice: painful cattle prods, spurs, caustic ointments
  • 45. Gait Competitions p. 101
  • 46. Dog Sports
  • 47. Table 6.4
    $$$ Florida alone 2006-2007: $465.3 million
    Greyhound Racing
  • 48. HSUS: Running for Their Lives
  • 49. Revenue decline 45% during 1990s
    Seven states banned “sport” in 1990s
    Idaho
    Maine
    North Carolina
    Nevada
    Vermont
    Virginia
    Washington
    Greyhound Racing
  • 50. States with Greyhound racing
    American Greyhound Council
  • 51. National Greyhound Association+
    Represents greyhound owners
    Official registry for racing greyhounds
    All greyhounds that race in the U.S. must be registered with
    American Greyhound Track Operators Association=
    Represents track operators
    American Greyhound Council*** See AGC PowerPoint
    Manages industry’s welfare programs, farm inspections and adoptions
    Organizations that manage greyhound racing in the U.S.
  • 52. Welfare of Racing Greyhounds
  • 53. Not governed by the Animal Welfare Act
  • 54. 1000s are destroyed
    Severe overbreeding to produce winners
  • 55. Normal lifespan is 12 years.
    So what happens when they are no longer ‘useful’?
    These dogs race until about 4 years of age.
  • 56. AGC states it has adopted standard guidelines.
    All of the nation’s breeding farms and kennels are subject to unannounced inspections.
  • 57. INDUSTRY ABUSE PUNISHED UNDER ANTI-CRUELTY STATUTES
  • 58. As many as 100,000 small animals, mostly domestic rabbits and wild jackrabbits, are maimed and killed in a variety of ways every year by persons involved in the greyhound-racing industry. Many are used as live lures and are hung from a horizontal pole, which goes around the track; often the bait animals' legs are broken so their cries will excite the dogs. The greyhounds are encouraged to chase, catch, and kill the lure so they will chase the inanimate lures used during the actual races. These bait animals, whether alive or dead, normally are used throughout the day, and when their jobs are done, trainers frequently allow greyhounds to tear them up.
    These small bait animals also are used in "coursing," which involves placing the rabbits within fenced enclosures in which the greyhound chases, terrorizes, and eventually kills the lure. These bait animals are used and killed in such cruel and painful ways because many "experts" within the racing field believe that greyhounds need to develop a "taste for blood" and that this type of exercise enhances the dogs' racing ability.
    In a number of states, the use of live lures has been prohibited by statute. In 1986, the Florida Legislature enacted The Animal Fighting Act. This Act outlaws baiting or using live animals in the training of racing greyhounds. But, the practice did not end because of the enactment of the law; instead, the practice has been perpetuated by an illicit interstate trade, which reportedly fetches twenty dollars per jackrabbit. The few people who actually are found bringing jackrabbits into the state for racing purposes are prosecuted; however, officials at the Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering have estimated that three hundred bait animals may be brought into the state each week.
    Source: Greyhounds: Racing to Their Deaths Addie Patricia Asay32 STETLR 433 (Winter 2003)
    The Use of Live Lures and Coursing
  • 59. Neglect and Lack of Medical Care
    Source: Greyhounds: Racing to Their Deaths Addie Patricia Asay32 STETLR 433 (Winter 2003)
    Nonetheless, anti-cruelty statutes seem to be applied against only the most horrible and cruel forms of abuses.
    Florida Statutes Section 828.12, the cruelty-to-animals statute, has been applied against persons within the greyhound-racing community for neglect and failure to provide medical care. This Section states, "A person who . . . deprives (any animal) of necessary sustenance or shelter . . . is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree.“
    In November 1991, an anonymous tip led police to a farm in Summerfield, Florida, where they found one hundred and ninety-four starving greyhounds forced to lie in and eat their own waste. Investigators said the dogs were nothing "more than skin covering bones.“ The family that owned the training farm stated that the dogs' owners had not sent money for food and that they had already " disposed of more than ten dogs."
  • 60. But such neglect does not occur only on breeding or training farms in places hidden from view. On January 21, 1996, a greyhound, He's My Denny, was injured seriously when an assistant at a racetrack let a number of dogs out for a run, and they attacked Denny. Denny's trainer, David Jonathon Gibby, decided not to allow a vet to treat the "multiple puncture wounds and abrasions to (his) neck," the "swelling and gas under his skin," and the bruising that occurred to "the knuckles of his feet and lower limbs.“
    It was not until January 25 that Denny was given medical attention, and then only because the director of the Greyhound Pets of America "heard the dog whimpering in a kennel.“ Gibby later took Denny out of the clinic for fear that the owner would find out about Denny's injuries. Sadly, because of the lack of medical attention, Denny developed gangrenous wounds from which he later died.
    Gibby was arrested and tried under Florida's cruelty-to-animals statute. The jury found him " guilty of causing the pain, suffering, and death of" Denny, and he subsequently was sentenced "to six months in jail and five years' probation.”
    He’s My DennySource: Greyhounds: Racing to Their Deaths Addie Patricia Asay 32 STETLR 433 (Winter 2003)
  • 61. Gibby requested a new trial based on his assertion that explicit photos of Denny's wounds swayed jurors.
    The court denied this request.
    Gibby also appealed the conviction to the Fifth District Court of Appeal, which subsequently upheld the conviction.
    Photographs at Trial
  • 62. Greyhounds at the track also have suffered cruelty due to dehydration. In August 2000, at the Palm Beach Kennel Club, four greyhounds died when they were left outside for hours in ninety-degree heat with no water. The trainer stated that the deaths occurred as a result of a miscommunication between him and an assistant.
    Animal-abandonment charges were dropped, and he "was placed on 18 months' probation and ordered to perform community service at an
    animal shelter or thrift shop.”
    Dehydration
    Source: Greyhounds: Racing to Their Deaths Addie Patricia Asay32 STETLR 433 (Winter 2003)
  • 63. Persons inside the greyhound-racing industry also have been prosecuted under Florida's anti-cruelty statutes when they have abandoned their greyhounds. Florida Statutes define "abandon" as follows: "to forsake an animal entirely or to neglect or refuse to provide or perform the legal obligations for care and support of an animal by its owner.“
    In September 1999, Bruno Steinmann, a greyhound owner, left his dogs in the care of another owner at the Seminole Greyhound Park. After a month, an inspector "found many of the dogs to be dehydrated, malnourished and suffering from anemia because of fleas and ticks.“ The Assistant State Attorney stated that "at least 15 dogs were in bad medical condition" and one ultimately died. Both owners were charged with "70 counts of animal abandonment, a misdemeanor.”They were found guilty and sentenced to seven months of jail time and fined $7,000.
    Unlike the previous case, in which only one dog died, in August 1989, more than eighty greyhounds were found severely malnourished at a kennel in Suwannee. All greyhounds had to be euthanized.
    Abandonment and Starvation
    Source: Greyhounds: Racing to Their Deaths Addie Patricia Asay32 STETLR 433 (Winter 2003)
  • 64. The racing industry also has had to deal with owners who decide to transport their greyhounds in an unsafe fashion. Many greyhounds do not train at the same farm at which they were bred; instead, many greyhounds must travel great distances. Some trips result in deadly consequences for the greyhounds.
    In one instance, a greyhound owner used a truck and small trailer to transport more than sixty dogs for a trip from Oregon to Florida, a trip of more than three thousand miles that would take about fifty-eight hours. "The truck held 31 dogs in 12 crates, the trailer held (another) 30 dogs in ten compartments," each approximately 35 inches wide. The dogs were "double-and triple-crated, were never taken out to relieve themselves or (to) exercise, and had no water for the last 20 hours of the trip.“ Even though the temperature near Orlando was ninety-five degrees, the trailer was not air-conditioned. It is not surprising that, when the dogs arrived in the Orlando area, one dog was already dead and another five were so ill that death occurred within minutes of arrival.
    The Oregon Racing Commission revoked the owner's racing license and fined him $3,000 for what it termed "negligence.”
    • Source: Greyhounds: Racing to Their Deaths Addie Patricia Asay32 STETLR 433 (Winter 2003)
    Overcrowding and Abuses in Transportation
  • 65. INSTITUTIONALIZED ABUSE AND MISTREATMENT NOT PUNISHED UNDER ANTI-CRUELTY STATUTES
  • 66. As noted previously, Florida has made live-lure training and baiting illegal. Still, Florida lacks enforceable laws that forbid owners and trainers from taking their dogs to other states that allow either live-lure training or that do not strictly enforce existing anti-cruelty statutes. These live-lure-trained dogs are then allowed to return and to compete in Florida races.
    Thus, although the law may be enforced against persons importing bait animals to Florida for training purposes, it fails to ensure the safety of bait animals that are used in these processes in other states. Instead, states such as Texas and Kansas, which are perceived as having weaker anti-cruelty statutes than other states or as enforcing their laws less strictly, have become fertile greyhound-training grounds.
    • Source: Greyhounds: Racing to Their Deaths Addie Patricia Asay32 STETLR 433 (Winter 2003)
    Out-of-State Lure Training
  • 67. Culling the litter is a common practice that has gone unhindered by anti- cruelty statutes. Owners, breeders, and trainers kill many greyhounds as puppies because they seem unlikely to win many, if any, races.
    Based on figures from The Greyhound Review, between 1989 and 1998, " 65,601 litters were registered by the National Greyhound Association.“ The low to average litter size is 6.5 pups, so multiplying that by the number of litters "results in a minimum total of 426,407 greyhounds born (over) this ten-year period.“ Greyhound litters are "registered at three months of age and (then greyhounds are) individually registered at 18 months.“
    In that ten-year period, "only 342,022 (greyhounds) were individually registered" out of the low estimate of 426,407 greyhounds born. This results in an almost twenty-percent discrepancy between greyhounds born and those individually registered.
    Sadly, adoptions from farms at such a young age are rare; therefore, almost 85,000 greyhound puppies between three and eighteen months of age are assumed to have been killed during this period.
    Culling the Litter
    Source: Greyhounds: Racing to Their Deaths Addie Patricia Asay32 STETLR 433 (Winter 2003)
  • 68. The life led by racing greyhounds is a fairly enclosed one inasmuch as they are normally confined to crates, as small as "2 1/2 feet wide, 3 feet high, and 3 1/2 feet deep,“ "for up to 22 hours (a) day.“ Throughout the day, the dogs often are muzzled, which can lead to the formation of sores around their mouths.
    The greyhound's shelter also can become a danger. Their crates are sometimes wooden, while their bedding usually is nothing more than shredded newspapers or thin pieces of carpet. This combination can lead to an increased fire hazard and has been cited by fire authorities as causing "flames to spread rapidly.“
    At one Massachusetts track, four fires occurred in a thirteen-year period and resulted in the deaths of more than ninety greyhounds. These fires claimed many lives because the track never installed fire sprinklers.
    Florida also has experienced fires at tracks with deadly results.
    • In addition, kennels often are not properly temperature controlled. At the Jacksonville Kennel Club, twenty greyhounds were killed when the air-conditioning unit broke down.
    • 69. Source: Greyhounds: Racing to Their Deaths Addie Patricia Asay32 STETLR 433 (Winter 2003)
    Lack of Space, Exercise, and Healthy Food
  • 70. The greyhounds' situation may not improve even when they are let out of their crates.
    On average, greyhounds are let outside four times a day. Often, the dogs are let out for exercise in overcrowded pens.
    Lack of Space, Exercise, and Healthy Food
  • 71. Another issue receiving attention lately is the type of food greyhounds are being fed. A food commonly given to greyhounds is raw unsterilized 4-D meat, which comes from dead, dying, diseased, or disabled animals. This meat still may contain pathogens that were responsible for injuring the animal or, just as likely, high doses of drugs that were pumped into the animal in hope of saving it for human consumption.
    Additionally, because the meat is raw, the health hazards to the dogs are numerous. The greyhounds sometimes are unable to race because of illnesses brought on by the food. One common illness, consisting of vomiting and diarrhea, commonly is referred to in the industry as "blow out.“ Some trainers justify feeding the greyhounds raw meat because they believe that it improves the greyhounds' racing performance. Trainers may be more swayed by the fact that the meat is cheap and readily available.
    Source: Greyhounds: Racing to Their Deaths Addie Patricia Asay32 STETLR 433 (Winter 2003)
    Food Greyhounds are fed
  • 72. The destruction of greyhounds after their racing careers, usually between the ages of three and five, may be the most offensive treatment that has gone unpunished under anti-cruelty statutes.
    Although the number of greyhounds destroyed each year varies, depending on who is quoting the numbers, it seems safe to use the average of twenty thousand killed annually. This figure represents a decrease over past years because of the greyhound- adoption movement, which began in the late 1980s. Before rescue groups got involved, "almost all greyhounds used for racing (ultimately) were killed.“
    Amazingly, in the last nine years, it is estimated that one million dogs have been killed prematurely.
    Source: Greyhounds: Racing to Their Deaths Addie Patricia Asay32 STETLR 433 (Winter 2003)
    The Unnecessary Destruction of Dogs after Racing
  • 73. In the past few years, an equally disturbing new trend has emerged. That trend is for owners to donate or sell former racing greyhounds for medical experimentation. In a five-year period, Iowa State University received almost six hundred ex-racing greyhounds, and, in another three-year period, "(m)ore than 2600 greyhounds were donated . . . to Colorado State University.”
    In this scenario, the owners lose no money because they do not have to pay to euthanize the dogs, and the owners actually may stand to make a gain. Looking at economics, as the cost of euthanization has risen, the incidents of owners shooting greyhounds have gone up. The hard reality is that kennels do not and cannot put money into dogs that are no longer moneymakers. It is simply cheaper to bring in new stock.
    Source: Greyhounds: Racing to Their Deaths Addie Patricia Asay32 STETLR 433 (Winter 2003)
    The Unnecessary Destruction of Dogs after Racing
  • 74. Alabama Animal Cruelty Law
    Mass Killing – Charges Dropped
  • 75. Formed in March of 2001, GREY2K USA is a national non-profit organization dedicated to passing stronger greyhound protection laws and ending the cruelty of dog racing. To this end, we work nationwide to fight for greyhounds in state legislatures, at the ballot box, and in the courts.
    Grey2K
  • 76. Sled Dogs
    Alaska, Canada, part of Northern Europe
  • 77. Early March every year, Alaska
    Iditarod
  • 78. The Iditarod violates accepted standards regarding animal cruelty as is shown by the laws of 38 states and the District of Columbia that have animal anti-cruelty laws stating "overdriving" and "overworking" an animal is animal cruelty.
    Does the Iditarod violate accepted standards regarding animal cruelty?
  • 79. The dog deaths and injuries in the Iditarod show that these dogs are "overworked" and "overdriven." If the Iditarod occurred in any of these 38 states or the District of Columbia, it would be illegal under the animal cruelty laws.
    Alaska's animal anti-cruelty law does not say that "overdriving" and "overworking" an animal is animal cruelty.
    Does the Iditarod violate accepted standards regarding animal cruelty?
  • 80. Sled Dog Action Coalition
  • 81. January 2011
    SPCA probes execution of 100 sled dogs
  • 82. Animals in Sports