When members of the greyhound racing community noticed that Grey2K spokesperson Carey Theil was scheduled to appear on a “Future of Pari-Mutuel Wagering” panel at the June 9 National Council of Legislators from Gaming States (NCLGS) conference in Denver, they took quick action. Leaders from AGTOA, NGA and AGC emailed a letter to the conference coordinators asking that an AGC spokesperson be added to the panel to ensure that greyhound racing industry perspectives would be included. That request was granted, and NGA Executive Director Jim Gartland was given a spot on the program.
Jim’s message to legislators highlighted the extraordinary progress made on greyhound adoption over the past 25 years, thanks to constructive engagement between the racing community and over 300 volunteer adoption groups. He told legislators that the AGC conducts unannounced inspections of breeding farms to verify compliance with industry greyhound welfare standards. He also noted that the NGA has imposed extremely tough penalties on industry members who fail to provide proper greyhound care, including lifetime expulsion from the sport.
No presentation to legislators would be complete without a little education on the radical political agenda of Grey2K, its ties to extreme and very wealthy animal rights groups like HSUS, and its trademark tendency to misrepresent the facts in order to raise funds. Gartland urged legislators to seek out both sides of the greyhound racing story before falling victim to Grey2K misinformation, and to collaborate with the industry and qualified veterinarians when seeking to address legitimate greyhound welfare concerns.
Gartland reported that legislators in the audience were very receptive to the AGC message, and many took the time after his presentation to say hello, pick up his business card, and thank him for being there to provide much-needed balance to the panel.