The Des Moines Register has published a response from NGA leader Jim Blanchard of Iowa to a letter urging Iowans to end greyhound racing in the state. Blanchard’s letter appeared in the July 28 edition of the newspaper.
Here is the full text of the letter.
The July 17 letter from Mr. Kalinak (“Will Iowa be the last state to end greyhound racing?”) contained a number of inaccurate statements about greyhound racing in Iowa. We’d like to set the record straight.
It should be obvious to anyone with an ounce of common sense that greyhounds would not be able to compete successfully at the track without adequate exercise or proper care. Greyhounds are turned out for exercise at least four times daily, which is more than sufficient to preserve their health and physical conditioning.
As anyone who has adopted a greyhound will tell you, greyhounds live to do two things: run and sleep. They are born racers, and they expend tremendous energy when they run. When they’re not running, they love to sleep, which is why greyhounds are often referred to as “40 mile per hour couch potatoes.”
Your readers should also know that injury rates in greyhound racing are extremely low, with injuries occurring in fewer than one-half of one percent of all starts. The vast majority of injuries are minor, allowing the greyhound to return to competition within a week or two.
At present, there are 24 tracks operating in seven states, including Iowa. Animal rights groups are working hard to ban greyhound racing in all of them. Many of the same groups are also working to put an end to livestock farming, hunting and fishing, biomedical research, zoos, circuses, and even the breeding of pets.
Does Iowa want to be one more state to let animal rights extremists dictate what industries will thrive and which will be banned? That’s the real question your readers should be asking.
Jim Blanchard, Iowa
National Greyhound Association Board of Directors