I wouldn’t bet on a mil­lion-to-one pet

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - - Letters -

Sir — Ted, who fea­tured in the ex­cel­lent Sun­day In­de­pen­dent ‘My Pet’ col­umn last week, has to be a grey­hound in a mil­lion: re­tired from rac­ing at three years of age, still alive at seven. Liv­ing in the lap of lux­ury, break­fast­ing on Weetabix, warm milk, honey and yo­ghurt, snooz­ing on the couch, laz­ing in the gar­den — and be­ing taken on meet-and­greet ses­sions to Shel­bourne Park. Seems like he’s the poster boy for the grey­hound in­dus­try.

Ted, sadly, is very much the ex­cep­tion rather than the norm. Grey­hounds who no longer win on the track usu­ally have their lives cut short — liv­ing just three to four years on aver­age.

There is ab­so­lutely no sen­ti­ment in the grey­hound rac­ing in­dus­try. When they’ve out­lived their use­ful­ness on the tracks, it’s left to the un­der­funded an­i­mal wel­fare char­i­ties to find homes for them.

And for other un­for­tu­nate Ir­ish rac­ing grey­hounds, it’s ex­port abroad to Asian coun­tries, where there’s scant an­i­mal wel­fare leg­is­la­tion, and the dogs end up in slaugh­ter­houses, des­tined for the meat trade.

So Ted is, lit­er­ally, a one-in-amil­lion lucky grey­hound! Aideen Yourell, Ir­ish Coun­cil Against Blood­sports, Co West­meath

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