Legal Ban on Dog Racing
The current Animal Protection Act prohibits to "organize dog races on hard surfaces" (Article 4, paragraph 2, item 8).
Animal Friends suggests the following text, i.e. an amendment to Article 4, paragraph 2, item 8:
(2) It is prohibited to:
8. organize dog races
Explanation: Dog racing is equally cruel on any surface and the Act should not encourage dog racing on soft surfaces, which it indirectly does by the formulated provision. Dogs chosen to become racers usually live in cages and due to injuries and diseases occurring during their breeding, preparation for racing, transport and races themselves, few dogs manage to reach the age of four or five. Racing dogs are treated like "running machines," which are produced in quantities that demand getting rid of surplus dogs and those that are injured, old, too slow or no longer profitable. Thousands of dogs are killed every year in an attempt to keep the dog racing industry alive. Some dogs are killed for selective breeding before they ever touch the racing track. Dogs that are chosen to become racers, while they are just 14 to 17 months old, usually live in cages and wear a muzzle. Many get sores caused by a muzzle and they get infections from internal and external parasites. Even though some breeds like greyhounds are very temperature sensitive because they have very little fat in their body and their fur is thin, the dogs are forced to race in extreme conditions - from minus temperatures to scorching heat. Injuries and illnesses - broken legs, heat stroke, heart attack - claim many lives. The best dogs run faster and are more prone to injury. Other dogs die during transport from one racetrack to the next. The industry practice is to transport 60 dogs in one truck, with two or three dogs in one cage. High temperatures form in the back of the truck in the summer, which is lethal for animals that cannot sweat in order to cool down. Most dogs that slow down and become unprofitable are either killed straight away or sold to research labs.
In the United States, where the dog racing problem is most pronounced, dog racing on any surface is banned in 38 states, and in five states, due to awareness and pressure from the citizens, there are no racetracks nor do dog races take place. Considering that treatment of racing dogs is already recognized by legislation of the countries that have long histories of dog racing, it is necessary to prevent the animal cruelty that might take place in Croatia, all just for earnings on bets.
The proposal of Animal Friends for this change to the Animal Protection Act is from year 2012, and it is a supplement to the same proposal which Animal Friends presented during the making of the Animal Protection Act in 2006.