Protecting Racing Dogs From Cruelty

Owners and handlers of the overwhelming majority of greyhound dogs used for racing seem to treat their animals well. On very rare occasions, however, there are reports of cruelty and neglect.

One surfaced earlier this year in Ohio County, when the state Racing Commission took action against two men accused of not providing adequate treatment for a racing greyhound with a broken leg. The commission revoked one of the men’s racing permit and suspended the other’s for six months.

But that action was taken despite the fact the Racing Commission did not have a formal policy against cruelty to animals.

It does now.

Commission members approved the policy Tuesday, by a unanimous vote.

The new policy is vague and was not necessary to provide enforcement authority. The commission already had that, under existing animal cruelty laws.

A new feature, however, is that the policy specifies cases of cruelty to animals uncovered by the commission will be referred to county prosecuting attorneys.

Racing Commission members were right to adopt the policy, as a new layer of protection for racing greyhounds.