The Greyhound Protection Act (GPA) is a Massachusetts statute that will phase out commercial dog racing by 2010. It was enacted as Question 3 on the November 4, 2008 ballot in Massachusetts. It will shut down Massachusetts two remaining race tracks, Raynham-Taunton Greyhound Park and Wonderland Greyhound Park in Revere, by January 1, 2010. Violators would face minimum fines of $20,000 by the State Racing Commission.
Less than two weeks ago, on September 18, Wonderland Greyhound Park held what could be its last race. Currently, there are two bills being considered at the state house. The first of these bills aims to postpone closing the tracks until 2012 due to economic hardships for the more than 1000 workers combined at the two tracks. The second bill seeks to extend simulcasting of races from around the country and the world. Both are still in committee.
As a greyhound owner, I have personally seen the harm that people inflict on these gentle giants at the racetrack. My own dog, Fiona, raced 17 times at a Florida racetrack before being given up for adoption. Lucky for her, she wasn’t fast enough to be kept as a brood where she would spend the remainder of her life on a farm breeding more potential racers. When I first got her, she had hair loss due to stress, scars from a racing muzzle, and an intense fear of loud noises. Hopefully the GPA goes according to plan and greyhound racing is over in the state of Massachusetts.
Filed under: animal law, greyhound racing Tagged: | animal abuse, animal advocacy, animal law, animal suffering, animal welfare, Greyhound Protection Act, greyhound racing, greyhounds, Massachusetts Question 3