A federal bill has been introduced once again advocating to put an end to greyhound racing.
Greyhounds—when you think of these athletic creatures, your mind may also connect them to racing. To watch them sprint to speeds up to 40 mph, many may agree that these canines are born to run. But the controversy lies with a greyhound’s life in the dog racing industry, where they are bred and trained for human profit. Although some may argue that racing greyhounds have a good life and are happy with the human interaction they receive from their trainers, ample food, and veterinary care, the fact remains that they are someone’s investment—bred to make money. When that is the sole purpose, is it possible to value their well-being? When making a profit is the ultimate goal, their sentience is overlooked.
Legislators have once again introduced a bill to put an end to dog racing. In 2021, a similar bill was introduced with no progress. Since that bill was introduced, Arkansas and Iowa have closed their tracks for live dog racing making West Virginia the last state to host live dog races—Wheeling Island Casino & Racetrack and Mardi Gras Casino & Resort.
Hesitancy by some legislators to support banning dog racing stems from wondering where the greyhounds will go once the track closes. That is a valid concern with possibly 2,000 greyhounds to rehome in West Virginia should House Resolution 3894, known as the Greyhound Protection Act of 2023, pass. As this bill progresses, measures should be discussed on where the dogs will go. In order for West Virginia’s casinos to have specific gambling tables, live dog or horse racing is part of the requirement. According to an article in 2022, a spokesperson for the owner of both casinos, Delaware North, favored banning live races if they could continue to operate as they are now.
Take Action: If you support ending greyhound racing, please contact your representative today.