Report Reveals How Retired Greyhounds Are 'Raced To Collapse And Then Killed For Their Meat'
Dogs are not called 'man's best friend' for nothing. They've been our companion animals for thousands of years - providing us with much-needed company, helping us guard our homes, and, in some instances, even saving our lives.
But unfortunately, the exploitation of these beautiful, intelligent creatures continues in the form of greyhound racing.
Popularized in the late 19th century, greyhound racing has been a source of entertainment for over a hundred years. However, thanks to our improved understanding of animal intelligence and a greater awareness of cruelty, the sport has decreased in popularity. In 1946, greyhound racing attracted 34 million visitors to the tracks in the United Kingdom. Now, it attracts less than two million.
Despite this, racing remains big business for the owners of greyhounds with a proven track record, who can earn tens of thousands of dollars off of the backs of their hard-working animals. But when they are no longer profitable, the dogs are met with an extremely grim fate.
Shockingly, many Western owners of greyhounds are willing to sell them to China when they have ceased to be profitable - knowing fine well that the animals will be kept in inhumane conditions and eventually be boiled alive for their meat.
Rescuer Kerry Elliman, pictured above and below, is on a mission to expose this abhorrent practice which enables greyhound owners to sell their dogs for a final lump sum rather than allowing them to have any form of a peaceful retirement.
Elliman has rescued an impressive 758 greyhounds over the past five years in her Beijing-based rescue centers, the Birmingham Greyhound Protection and Candy Cane Rescue, and now she has spoken out about what happens to retired greyhounds.
"They [the owners] are not happy with making money from a decent business, they export racing greyhounds for a lot of money to top up their earnings," she revealed in an interview with the Sunday Mirror. "We know they export to Pakistan as well."
"I hope these greedy vile people are happy with what they have done and the problems and suffering they have created for these noble dogs," Elliman continued. "It's about time the racing industry is brought down. It's full of abuse and greed."
Whilst some retired greyhounds do not fetch a high price, if they've still got some racing ability left, they can sell for anything up to $400,000.
In China, there are no animal protection laws, but Elliman wants to make it illegal for British owners to sell their retired animals to the country. Pictured above are starved Western dogs that have been confined to small cages, and pictured below is a dog moments away from death.
"I understand there are different values and a different culture in China. It upsets me that animals there are treated with so little respect," she said. "But why do we have to participate in it? Trainers claim they are being exported to countries with welfare."
"But once they are gone you've got no idea what's happening to them."
"Many [dogs] have already spent their entire lives racing and should be allowed to retire in their old age," Elliman said. "Instead, they are sent to a country which has no animal welfare laws to race or breed."
"Greyhounds are also sent to Shanghai Wildlife Park where they are fed alive to big cats and other predators and forced to race against cheetahs for entertainment. When they have outlived their usefulness, many end up in the meat trade to be beaten, hung, boiled or skinned alive."
Retired greyhounds are sold in China alongside a description of their racing credentials so that buyers can decide what to do with them.
"I've seen videos where dogs are being boiled alive," Elliman revealed. "I saw one the other day when a meat wagon was being hosed down with scalding hot water – with the dogs still in it.
"You could hear them screaming. It was horrific... once greyhounds can no longer race, their meat is all they're good for."
We hope that Elliman's decision to speak out helps to bring an end to this abhorrent practice in the near future.