After completing their training at about eighteen months of age, greyhounds are sent to tracks across the United States in outfitted trucks and long, compartmentalized trailers. Greyhounds are also transferred in these vehicles between racetracks, sometimes as many as eight times during their racing careers, as well as after their retirement from racing. These hauling outfits are largely unregulated, and any incidents involving the transport of greyhounds go largely unreported.
On May 26, 2017, the hottest day of that year to date, nine greyhounds were transported in a makeshift van with no air conditioning or water for four hours from Wisbech, Norfolk to Crayford Stadium. The Greyhound Racing Board of Great Britain determined "serious welfare breaches" just short of "wilful cruelty" by trainer Jim Daly and his two kennel hands. A greyhound named Kelva Captin collapsed from the heat and lack of air conditioning and water. He was unable to even lift his head and his temperature had reached 108.2f. Malteser Man was found "unsteady" when removed from the van, with a temperature of 107f, a level sufficient to cause brain damage.
On August 26, 2016, a greyhound hauler driving in Brooke County, West Virginia, lost control of his vehicle and drove off the road, causing multiple dogs to be ejected. The status of these dogs is unknown.
On June 27, 2014, a greyhound named Gone Gone Gone died while being transferred from West Virginia to Palm Beach Kennel Club in Florida to race.
In 2010, two greyhound haulers were suspended for 30 days and fined $500 each after eight greyhounds died while being transported to Arizona. At least some of the dogs were being sent to race at Tucson Greyhound Park. The haulers claimed that they were unable to check on the dogs for part of the trip due to bad weather, but a state report of the incident found that "the evidence does not support that they drove through severe rainstorms."
In August 2008, three greyhounds died while being transported from Iowa to the Palm Beach Kennel Club in Florida. The dogs apparently died of heat-related illness.
Greyhounds in Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom are also transported in bulk to racetracks by some trainers, though part-time hobby trainers often transport small numbers of dogs in regular vehicles. Though accidents involving haulers do occur from time to time, the public’s attention has been captured most recently by the export crisis.
The export crisis refers to greyhounds being exported from jurisdictions with animal welfare laws, namely Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, the United States, and the United Kingdom, to jurisdictions with little or no animal welfare laws in place. Though imported greyhounds have long been necessary in jurisdictions like Macau and Vietnam, ABC News shined a light on the practice in a December 2015 piece, concluding that greyhounds sent to these places would die there. In June 2017, four Australian greyhound participants Mark Farrugia, Steven Farrugia, Sam Cauchi, and Patricia Cauchi were found guilty of 464 charges under industry rules for the unauthorized export of hundreds of greyhounds to China, Vietnam, and Dubai.
Read our full report “High Stakes” on dog racing in the United States (PDF)
The Dogs - Unauthorised Export of Greyhounds
WCTV - Anti-racing advocates call attention to greyhound hauling
South China Morning Post - Final battle to save Macau’s exploited racing greyhounds
The Sydney Morning Herald - Inside the greyhound export racket: Ringleaders found guilty of 464 charges
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