Bipartisan Congressional Coalition Leads Effort to End Greyhound Racing in U.S.

Gray-Hound” in a 1658 English woodcut
Illustration Credit: Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries

Washington D.C. — Greyhound racing and the associated gambling that goes with it would be illegal in the United States if a bill making its way through Congress becomes law.

HR 3894 – known as the Greyhound Protection Act of 2023 – is authored by California Congressman Salud Carbajal (D), and co-sponsored by nearly two dozen representatives from both sides of the aisle.

“Greyhound racing is a relic of an era long past in the United States,” said Carbajal.

“It is cruel, inhumane, and thoroughly unpopular with the American public – which is why nearly every state in the union has already voted to outlaw it.”

Greyhound racing has long been a contentious issue, with concerns raised about the treatment of dogs and the use of live animals as bait. It has been outlawed in 42 states; HR 3894 would ban the horrible sport in all states and Washington D.C.. The bill also seeks to ban the practice of using rabbits and other small animals as lures, pushing for more ethical alternatives to engage the racing greyhounds.

Specific provisions of the bill include:

(1) for any person to knowingly engage in commercial greyhound racing, live lure training, or open field coursing events in which any animal is moved in interstate or foreign commerce;

(2) to conduct commercial greyhound racing or racing meeting where any form of betting or wagering on the speed or ability of greyhounds occurs;

(3) to conduct open field coursing or live lure training with the use of any bait that is not an inanimate object;

(4) to engage in or facilitate simulcast betting or wagering on greyhound races in interstate or foreign commerce; and

(5) for any person to knowingly sell, buy, possess, train, transport, deliver, or receive any animal for purposes of having the animal participate in commercial greyhound racing, live lure training, or open field coursing events.

The bill, introduced in June, landed in the Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry where it awaits a hearing. Kansas Rep. Tracey Mann (R) chairs the sub committee, and has not committed as a co-sponsor of the bill. While greyhound racing has abjectly failed in Kansas, it is still a legal business according to Grey2K USA Worldwide.

The bill has the endorsement of more than 250 animal rights and protection groups, shelters, and other organizations.

“The Greyhound Protection Act will give greyhounds the second chance they deserve and put a rightful end to over 100 years of callous exploitation,” said Christine A. Dorchak, President and General Counsel, GREY2K USA Worldwide (one of the lead sponsors of the bill).

Greyhounds are intelligent, friendly and loving dogs who are a wonderful addition to families, according to the Dogs New Zealand website (an informational clearinghouse for all things dogs). “They are gentle and even-tempered and should be socialised early to avoid timidity,” the website states. Ex-Racers also make good pets and are easy to housebreak.

The tall, slender canine are efficient service dogs for handicapped people. “They excel as guide dogs, emotional support and therapy dogs, as well as mobility assistance dogs,” states the AZ Greyhound website.

Fun fact: Greyhounds are the only breed of dog mentioned in the Bible:

There are three things which are majestic in pace, Yes, four which are stately in walk: A lion, which is mighty among beasts

And does not turn away from any; A greyhound, A male goat also, And a king whose troops are with him.

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