Public Policy: Greyhound Racing

Public Policy: Greyhound Racing

The Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) opposes the practice of greyhound racing in Massachusetts, including simulcasting of these races. ARL has been active in the fight for prohibition of dog racing, including the 2008 ballot question.

Greyhound racing has been illegal in Massachusetts since 2010, with voters approving the prohibition in a 2008 ballot question. Across the United States, states are banning this practice, as people learn about the cruelty these dogs often suffer. Although greyhound racing is illegal in Massachusetts and the majority of other states, Massachusetts still allows for simulcasting of and profit off these races. Massachusetts residents can legally watch and bet on these races at facilities across the Commonwealth, promoting this cruel behavior.

Greyhound racing, from when the dogs are bred to when their lives end, is conducted with economics as the paramount concern. Thousands of greyhound dogs are bred each year, with the goal of breeding the fastest and most athletic dogs. When not racing, the dogs are confined for the overwhelming majority of the day, up to 20-23 hours. Many of these kennels have been cited for neglect and cruelty, including lack of medical care. Greyhound racing encourages practices such as: feeding dogs raw meat labeled not fit for human consumption, transporting in conditions that have resulted in the death of multiple dogs, and providing drugs to dogs to increase performance. When these dogs are forced to race, they may face injuries such as broken necks, broken limbs, torn muscles, and even electrocution from the track. The severity of these injuries, and the fact that they are no longer valuable racing assets, often leads to euthanasia. These dogs, like all animals, deserve safe, loving homes, and all possible efforts to adopt out these animals should be pursued.

Therefore, the Animal Rescue League of Boston will:

  • Support efforts to end greyhound racing nationwide
  • Support efforts to end the simulcasting of these races in Massachusetts
  • Encourage, where appropriate, adoption of these animals