The American Greyhound Council (AGC) has responded to recent online coverage of the Grey2K attack against greyhound racing in Iowa.  In letters to the Des Moines Register and, AGC Board Member Jim Blanchard, who also serves as Vice President of the National Greyhound Association (NGA), suggested that Iowans take Grey2K claims with "a grain of salt."

Here is the letter sent to both outlets:

 Dear Editor:

Your recent story about the coming animal rights campaign against greyhound racing should put Iowans on their guard. State residents can expect a barrage of
misinformation and negative propaganda from the radical East Coast groups behind this misguided effort.

The greyhound racing community dedicates millions of dollars each year to greyhound welfare and adoption programs. Greyhound farms are subject to unannounced inspections to verify the quality of kennel facilities and animal care. Rigorous standards for breeders and kennel operators are strictly enforced, with lifetime expulsion from the sport for serious violators.

At the track level, contracts require that  kennel operators provide proper animal care or risk the suspension of racing privileges. Track veterinarians are on hand daily to monitor greyhound health and handle injuries when they occur.

In addition to industry programs, greyhound racing is regulated by the states in which it operates. State regulators have the authority to suspend or revoke racing licenses if violations of law or racing rules occur.

It should be obvious to anyone with an ounce of common sense that greyhounds must receive proper care in order to compete at their best. If they don’t receive proper
nutrition, exercise and rest, they can’t perform on the track.

Contrary to what we hear from animal rights groups, the rate of greyhound injuries is extraordinarily low. Injuries occur in less than one-half of one percent of all racing
starts. Most of the injuries are minor, and allow the greyhound to return to racing within a matter of weeks.

Even when injured greyhounds are no longer able to race, they are wonderful candidates for placement in a loving adoptive home.

Iowans should take what they hear from animal rights extremists with a grain of salt. There is no good reason to ban a sport that supports more than 1,300 jobs, pays
millions of dollars in taxes, and takes good care of its canine athletes.


Jim Blanchard, Vice President, National Greyhound Association and Member, Iowa Greyhound Association