“We ask for your support to end the exploitation and cruelty to the greyhounds. Not the condemn to a future of pain and sacrifice.” With those words the different organizations animalistic call to the people to participate in the march that will take place tomorrow, at 19:00 hours, starting from Avenida Libertador and Río Negro to the Legislative Palace. The goal is to achieve a ban on greyhound racing in Uruguay and “educating people about the harm it brings to animals.
“At the moment that type of racing is not legal, but since a few months, the Commission on Responsible ownership and Animal Welfare (Cotryba) is seeking to regularise the activity, on the basis that it would be best taking into account what is established in the law 18.471 of animal welfare”, explained Jonathan Vilar, a member of the Association of Animalist Released!
Instead, they argue that, on the contrary, it would be violating the law if it legalises the activity. “The regulation of the dog racing would be endorsing the exploitation and animal abuse,” he said.
“The damage to the dogs is not just in the race but especially during workouts. That is the worst part. From guys, have to the female dogs all the time having offspring to select the best puppies to train and compete in the races,” he said. He said the training consists of them running every day, even “tying them to the cars, to run at the speed of the vehicles,” he explained.
The worst part, narrated, comes when dogs suffer an injury or are not used for racing. “When they compete, many dogs are hurt, they go bankrupt and the owners end up sacrificing. Similarly, if they are slow and do not serve to run. If you do not kill them, in the best cases, drop out and end up in a humane,” he said. “You could say that in all of the animal shelters in Uruguay there is a greyhound that was abandoned,” he added.
The member of the organization animal rights also told that the dogs racing are typically given drugs to run at a higher speed. “Some legal and others not,” he said.
Despite the fact that during races there are veterinarians that perform test anti-doping, their presence “is not to control the health of the dogs, but to make sure that the dog owner is not cheating to win the bet,” he said and explained that the use of drugs will damage the health of the animal and shortens their life expectancy.
“Uruguay at risk”.
In November of last year, the Association Animalistic that integrates Jonathan Vilar, began a campaign through the platform Change.org, called “#StopGalguerosUy”, where it requested the president of the Republic, Tabaré Vazquez, which ended with that kind of competitions that have dogs as main characters. Today, after four months, the petition has over 35,000 signatures of support.
The initiative has the support of the organization Project Galgo Argentina, a country where not long ago was able to ban them.
In this regard, the veterinarian and the member of parliament for the National Party, Gaston Cossia, argued that the country is at risk, because “all the galgueros that Argentina cannot perform that activity, they are coming to Uruguay, and are strengthening the circuits of races clandestine”. This situation, according to the deputy, it would increase in the case of regularized activity in the country.
“Would that this practice, which is still amateur in the country, profesionalice each time more, which would be highly counter-productive for animal welfare,” he said.
“No one forces you to run”
Leonardo River, a member of the Uruguayan Association of Galgueros, held that the greyhounds are taken care of, have all shots, are controlled by veterinarians and are in excellent physical condition. “When they are injured or can not run more, they are still taking care of to be oldies because they are used as fathers or mothers. It is a lie that kills them or leaves them. Someone bring a dog of pure race that was abandoned, I don’t think that,” he said. “Evidence is needed to soil a activity. I have not seen any of these protective see a training of a greyhound or go to the races. It is a sport that has no rider, you are not punished to run faster, but run at will. If they want they can stop, no one is forcing you”, he concluded.