Trouble Ahead for Greyhounds in South Africa

While it still takes place illegally, Greyhound racing was banned in South Africa in 1945, since gambling was considered immoral. Apparently the definition of what’s moral can change over time since the Department of Trade and Industry is looking into the possible legalization of this so called sport. 

Proponents of racing would like people to believe it is a well-regulated sport that could generate 30,000 jobs and revenue of $1.5 billion in South Africa.

Animal welfare groups have called those numbers into question, arguing that the math doesn’t add up.  In addition, they point out numerous disadvantages of the possible reintroduction. A huge concern, besides exploiting these dogs, is that thousands of unwanted dogs will be produced, most of who will find themselves the recipients of miserable life ended by an untimely and gruesome death, along with straining the resources of already struggling animal welfare groups.

The Independent told the story of a dog named Rusty who was found “lying whimpering on a rubbish dump, his tail still wagging. He was shot through the head with a captive-bolt pistol and his ears cut off to remove identifying tattoos after performing badly in a race.”

Reports like this aren’t scarce either.

Christina Pretorius, Head of Programmes for the International Fund for Animal Welfare, makes a good point, “By encouraging the idea that one may profit from racing greyhounds, illegal racing will spiral out of control in disadvantaged communities.”

“Additionally, greyhounds that have reached the end of their usefulness as racing dogs (from two to four years old), will be relinquished further adding to the burden of animal welfare organizations and encouraging a destructive cycle of animal abuse.”

Chris Kuch, spokesman for the NSPCA, said dog racing internationally had resulted in the unnecessary suffering of thousands of animals.

“The industry has marketed the concept of fun, entertainment, excitement and get-rich- quickly – and even job creation – as to why this sport is merited, all the while denying the underlying truth of generating large income for a few at the expense of many.”

Considering what we know about what happens to these dogs, it’s pretty obscene that they would even consider bringing racing back. These dogs deserve sooooooo much better.


Contact Professor Elizabeth Snyman-Van Deventer of the University of the Free State Faculty of Law, which has been appointed by the Department of Trade and Industry to conduct research on the possible legalization of greyhound racing by fax at 051-401-2698 or e-mail it to

You can also sign Care2’s petition against legalizing this sport in South Africa here.



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javier v.
javier v.6 years ago

despues de que los humanos se divierten y ademas apuestan se les trata de esa forma no se vale se les debe de trtar con los derechos que deben de tener hace falta legislar y pensalizar

suzanne o.
suzanne o.6 years ago

i detest this cruelty , plus it reflects the whole bad mentality of a nation where the people & parents are endlessly doing bloodsoprt on their pets & daughters , every daughter is living with a father who is a mugabe tryant , continuously psycho-raping/goading /bloodsport - & now , for any animal or woman victim : there is no listener , no sound or voice above, to pray to or phone , there is no transmission even in the air here to have for one's anguish , in the silence of evil increasing - because the authorities & breeders & clubs & parents are bad, sick, perverse blood sportsmen who have no soul & even when they eat they chew in a bloodsport manner .
cape town

Carol Ann Roberts

My first adopted greyhound came from the track in Juarez, which was known then as being THE WORST AND MOST CRUEL TRACK IN THE WORLD! I have seen pictures, and heard stories that still make me cry after seeing them 10 or more years ago. One picture I saw of a decapitasted dog, with a large ball stuffed in it's mouth, you could see the abject fear and agony still in the daogs eyes as it had his head cut off while still alive. Sorry for that, but I had to SEE it. Here is one way I helped to shut down Juarez and to keep dog racing from coming to Reno, Nevada. I wrote to the President of Mexico at that time, and the Mayor of Reno and told them I would NOT be bringing my vacation money to their city/state/country if they continued/started greyhound racing. Money talks, bullsh*t walks. Hit 'em where it hurts, in their wallet.

javier v.
javier v.6 years ago

yo creo queel problema mas grave es el trato que se les da ya que para que ganesn los trtan en formas crueles o les aplican medicamentos yu drogas que no deberia nde hacerlo ademas de que al terminar la vida util como corredor no tienen i programa qeu cubr als necesidad del perrito que ya no corre y que ya nos prodece dienro el apostar es algo enfermizo no deberia de suceder a

Purita Mok
Purita Mok6 years ago

There is absolutely no justification of using animals in any sports. They are not meant to be our entertainment source, and to those who enjoy these pathetic immoral shows, it just shows how devastating some of the human population is. Imagine if we killed off those who didn't do so well in any sports like those people do to greyhounds!!!

Merthyr Stevens
Merthyr Stevens6 years ago

If the South African Government permits the lifting of the long-standing ban on Greyhound racing [or any other form of dog racing], it will show civilised nations across the world that as a country SA is regressing, not progressing!! The exploitation and cruel abuse of the defenceless in order to enrich the mindless [Duh!] is nothing short of barbaric and belongs back in the dark ages from whence it came! The ban on dog racing should be upheld, and the practice be criminalised, and those found in contravention should be hit with the maximum penalties [including jail time]. SOUTH AFRICA: DO NOT PERMIT THE LIFTING OF THE BAN - PROTECT THESE DOGS FROM THE VERMIN WHO USE THEM!!!

Jane S.
Jane S.6 years ago

We had visitors to our B/B in Netherlands who owned a Spanish "rescue greyhound" , adopted from the Belgian rescue society
The stories they told us of what happens in Spain to the dogs which are bred then found not to be good enough for racing were absolutely horrific.No doubt similar things happen in other dog-racing countries so I certainly vote for a complete ban on dog-racing .Jane.

Sandra Carr
Sandra Carr6 years ago

It's all about money! No animal should ever be forced to compete just to entertain people! The dogs have feeling, too.

Tereza Koucoulidis

we need to ban the sport immediately!!!!

Linda Purvis
Linda Purvis6 years ago

Some people think animals are easy money. When are they gonna get up off their butts and make some real money. LOVE ANIMALS AND TAKE CARE OF THEM !!!!!!!!! NOT ABUSE THEM !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!