Greyhound racing is a racing event in which greyhounds are used and the greyhounds that chases the lure or bait to the finish line wins the game. A greyhound is dog breeds that is strong and agile therefore has the capability of going into tough races, which is why are used in racing.
Greyhounds have been with man from time immemorial. This particular breed has been much prize as is evident in Egypt, where they were venerated as the most supreme amongst all animals. Greyhounds were mummified and buried with their masters. In the United Kingdom, greyhounds were considered as a status symbol way back from the 10th century. Queen Elizabeth put forth the rules on using greyhounds for chasing hares and in the early 1900s Patrick Owen introduced the concept of greyhound racing. In the United States greyhound racing saw it's beginning in the 1920s.
Before the greyhound race begins, the greyhounds are placed in a paddock. They will be tested for any infections, illnesses or even drug abuse. After passing medical tests, they are then placed in traps, which are basically individual compartments in the starting box. The race begins and the greyhound has to chase the lure to he finish line. The greyhound that is the fastest wins the race. The lure looks something like a bone or a rabbit. After the race the greyhound is allowed to walk in an open area and given water.
While in some countries greyhound racing is a form of pleasure sports, in others it is taken as a serious sport, with lots of excitement and even gambling included as is seen in horse racing. Here is a look at how greyhound racing is conducted in countries where it is carried out at a professional level
In the United States, the condition of greyhounds used for racing is based on the organization or people who train them for these events as this greyhound racing sport is not governed by the Animal Welfare Act. Racing greyhounds live in a two level kennels with the males on the lower level females usually kept on the upper level. The size of a crate in the kennel is 1/2 feet wide by 4 feet deep by 3 feet high.
In Australia greyhound racing is governed by the Greyhound Racing Authorities. At night the greyhounds live in kennels and these kennels must meet the conditions set by the Greyhound Racing Authorities. During the daytime they are exercised and fed.
Racing greyhounds live with their trainers or owners and are transported to the track for races. Dogs' health and condition are checked at the track, and drugs tests are also conducted to check for tampering with the dog's abilities and performance levels.
In recent times there is much outrage against greyhound racing as a form of sport, primarily because of the way the dogs are treated. One sad aspect is that greyhounds are either sent to labs or killed after their active racing periods are over. Greyhound adoption groups report problem such as tooth decay problems, and suffering from diseases caused by ticks and parasites. Doping is yet another problem to be reported.
British Greyhounds Retired Database, Adopt-a-Greyhound and Greyhound Pets of America are organizations that have fought for the betterment of greyhounds used for racing. It is important to understand how these organizations are helping greyhounds to have better living conditions so as to improve the quality of this sport. They make sure that retired greyhounds are adopted and have taken steps to ensure their better treatment on the track. As a result of their actions, many race tracks on now having their own adoption programs.
In the United States, states such as California and Maine have gone as far as to ban greyhound racing, while others have stopped the use of live bait such as rabbits and other small animals for the race.