There has certainly been a crackdown on greyhound racing in the United States. One country where it is already totally illegal is in China. So it does beg the question if greyhound racing is illegal in China, why are Iowa’s top breeder’s dogs being sold there? We at racehordemeds.com, which provides many outstanding supplements for greyhounds, are wondering just like you are.
These allegations came from Grey2K USA, a national animal rights group that considers ending dog racing their “moral imperative”. Grey2K USA cited as proof references to Brad Boeckenstedt and Alan Hill’s greyhounds on Chinese websites used for checking pedigree and racing.
It has been discovered that two of Iowa’s top greyhound breeders which include the president of the Iowa Greyhound Association and the owner a 2018 Breeders Cup winner, were selling dogs to China for use in the illegal racing industry there.
The complaint comes at a challenging time for breeders and owners of greyhound dogs. Iowa Greyhound Park in Dubuque is one of only six live greyhound tracks remaining in the US.
“The Association’s policy going forward will be to ban the sale or export of NGA registered greyhounds to any country that does not have recognized welfare standards and/or organized and regulated racing operated under strong legislation, rules and regulations,”
“Involvement in the export of greyhounds to jurisdictions where welfare standards cannot be verified is unacceptable and the NGA will employ the full powers available to it to prohibit individuals from deliberately undermining the good reputation of licensed greyhound racing in North America.”
Intentional or Accidental Shipment
Brad Boeckenstedt, president of the Iowa Greyhound Association, and Alan Hill, a board member, for years have been among the top recipients of purses and casino-backed supplemental payments to owners and breeders.
Purse winnings at the Dubuque track the past five years for Boeckenstedt, have totaled nearly $1 million. In a conference call with the association’s lawyer, Jerry Crawford, Boeckenstedt and Hill said they were both duped by the same buyer.
Crawford sent a statement from a man named Leo Xi, an Australian resident of Chinese descent who does business in Los Angeles, California. Xi said he bought five Iowa greyhounds in three years. He said he was going to keep the dogs, but changed his mind after receiving an offer from China.
Boeckenstedt said he sold Xi four dogs in 2017 and Hill said he sold two. Both men said they had no idea that they were being sold to China.
Hill’s Superior Kennel, one of ten kennels running dogs at the Dubuque track last season, received $404,534 in 2018. He took another $198,155 in purse and supplements in one year, more than any other Iowa resident last season, according to figures from the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission.
“The Iowa Greyhound Association is aware that in certain countries greyhound racing is not legal and/or there are inadequate animal welfare standards,” the Iowa resolution reads. “While the IGA recognizes that selling greyhounds to those countries is not illegal, the IGA’s policy going forward will be to ban the sale of greyhounds to those countries.”
There are only a few international countries that Iowa-bred or owned greyhounds can be sold. Australia, Ireland, the United Kingdom and New Zealand are on the short list. The list may be amended depending on evolving conditions.
Accusations of Cruelty
Greyhound racing is dying across the country in part because many organizations now consider it inhumane. Even the state of Florida, home to half the country’s tracks, just passed legislation doing away with the sport in its state in the very near future (2020).
In the US, greyhounds routinely suffer severe injuries and are retired early when no longer fit to race. This according to the ASPCA.
Little is known about underground greyhound racing in China. It sort of ‘pops-up’ on tracks in rural areas and other far off the path places, according to research by Grey2K. Animal rights groups say the dogs have been kept in deplorable conditions there. They are abused and forced to run against circus animals, including cheetahs.
The Gambling Connection
Initially, Iowa law required casinos to offer dog or horse races as a condition of their licenses to build the breeding industries. Iowa-bred greyhounds had special status at Iowa tracks that provided opportunities to win more money to promote their dog-breeding industry.
In 2014, the Legislature paved the way for casinos to do away with dog racing. The two casinos with dog tracks, Bluffs Run (former name) and the Dubuque track, were given the option to pay into the greyhound parimutuel fund to forgo racing or to prop up those still invested in the industry.
An End to Iowa Dog Racing
Under legislation passed in 2014, the Iowa Racing and Gaming commission collected $1 million from the Q Casino in Davenport each year and $9,285,700 from Horseshoe Casino in Council Bluffs related to the future of greyhound racing.
The Iowa Greyhound Association gets $4.6 million per year from the Council Bluffs casino to conduct racing at Dubuque until 2022. The Dubuque casino gives the association $500,000 for operations at Dubuque until 2021.
The last $1 million payment from the Q Casino is in 2021, with the last payment from Horseshoe Casino to follow in 2022, according to the commission.
The $5.1 million in annual payments has helped to keep the Dubuque track afloat. Revenues at the park increased greatly last year, but casino proceeds kept it in the black.
It’s unclear how the Dubuque park will continue to fund more than $2 million in purses after those supplements run out. The track’s annual lease increases from $1 this year to $58,000, and the association will pay more for use of the grandstand.
This is some pretty interesting stuff. Greyhound racing is having its issues and this mess out of Iowa is not gonna help anything in the industry. In the meantime, for the racing that is still being raced, racehorsemeds.com has some killer greyhound supplements, healers, builders and more. Check out the site for deals, specials and more. This is the premier dog racing, horse racing and camel racing supplement headquarters.