Press Release

Animal Wellness Applauds Birmingham Race Course for Sunsetting Greyhound Racing in the Yellowhammer State

BIRMINGHAM, AL — Animal Wellness Action, a national organization promoting legal standards against cruelty, applauded an announcement made by the Jefferson County Racing Association (Birmingham Race Course) that live greyhound racing will end at the last track left in Alabama — one of the last states to stage this archaic form of animal competition. 

“We applaud the Birmingham Racecourse for shuttering the last greyhound racing operation in the Yellowhammer State,” said Marty Irby, executive director at Animal Wellness Action, and a native Alabamian. “I’m elated to see this archaic and abusive enterprise cross the finish line in my home state for good.” 

A generation ago, there were 60 tracks in the U.S.  Once a current set of phase-outs for tracks in Arkansas take effect, only four will remain. The remaining tracks are in West Virginia, Iowa, and Texas, and as in Alabama, there is flagging interest and serious concern about the treatment of the animals.  

“Most tracks don’t make money, but gambling interests that own the tracks are being obligated by the states to subsidize the operations and to require that the tracks run dogs even when it’s a money-loser,” added Mr. Irby. “The states shouldn’t force businesses to conduct operations that they don’t want to do and that lose money.”

At the few tracks that remain, the dogs often perform in front of nearly empty arenas. Instead of cleaning up its act, the industry has fought reform efforts. Dogs play an important role in our lives, and they deserve to be protected from unpopular spectacles that put them at risk.

Animal Wellness Action is a Washington, D.C.-based 501(c)(4) whose mission is to help animals by promoting laws and regulations at federal, state and local levels that forbid cruelty to all animals. The group also works to enforce existing anti-cruelty and wildlife protection laws. Animal Wellness Action believes helping animals helps us all. Twitter: @AWAction_News

Center for a Humane Economy is a Washington, D.C.-based 501(c)(3) whose mission is to help animals by helping forge a more humane economic order. The first organization of its kind in the animal protection movement, the Center encourages businesses to honor their social responsibilities in a culture where consumers, investors, and other key stakeholders abhor cruelty and the degradation of the environment and embrace innovation as a means of eliminating both. The Center believes helping animals helps us all. Twitter: @TheHumaneCenter

Animal Wellness Foundation is a Los Angeles-based private charitable organization with a mission of helping animals by making veterinary care available to everyone with a pet, regardless of economic ability. We organize rescue efforts and medical services for dogs and cats in need and help homeless pets find a loving caregiver. We are advocates for getting veterinarians to the front lines of the animal welfare movement; promoting responsible pet ownership; and vaccinating animals against infectious diseases such as distemper. We also support policies that prevent animal cruelty and that alleviate suffering. We believe helping animals helps us all.