Calls to end greyhound racing in Portugal

By Paula Martins, in News, Politics · 16-04-2021 01:00:00 · 14 Comments

Dog racing, especially of greyhounds, is legal in Portugal. However, more than 25,000 citizens want to put an end to this, through a legislative initiative sent to Parliament.

In order to understand more about this issue, The Portugal News spoke to the president of SOS Animal, Sandra Duarte Cardoso, who said that there is no taboo around this practise and those who promote greyhound racing don’t have to hide it.

According to Sandra: “This scourge has been spoken about for decades but both political parties and chambers have no interest in ending this”. In fact, she goes further and adds that most of the races are supported by chambers. “There are several chambers, whether it is the councillors or mayors, who support them. Then, there are also some races that take place in private houses and farms, but there is no taboo in covering it up because it is legal”.

In the document they sent to the parliament, this group of citizens explain some of the procedures that owners use to train their dogs, namely waterwheels.

“The waterwheels are horizontal and mechanised devices, segmented by electrified metal plates, which rotate very quickly, forcing dogs to run in circles. When dogs do not keep pace, they are given electric shocks. During the races, dogs can reach 60 km/h, with their paws being severely injured, due to the rapid wear of paws in such a violent friction with the ground, this soil, most of the time, without the correct conditions”, reads the document.

“None of these methods can be accepted in a developed society. They use barbaric practices to train dogs that today should be banned”, said the president of SOS Animal.

Sandra Duarte Cardoso points out that Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom are the countries in Europe where these dog races are most common.

According to the document sent to the parliament, in Portugal dog races are promoted in places such as: Vila Nova de Famalicão (pista de Nine); Póvoa de Varzim (pista da Estela); Vila do Conde (pista de Mindelo); Bombarral (pista da Associação Galgueira do Centro); Alenquer (pista da Romeira); Cuba do Alentejo (pista da Associação Galgueira de Cuba).

In addition, she believes that the main reasons to promote these races are money and ego. “It moves a lot of money, the sale of dogs after win also generates a lot of revenue. This lobby is associated with the bullfighting and hunting lobby, animals are being used as machines. The motivation is first monetary and then the ego of the greyhounds’ owners, to become known and to have something to prove”, she highlighted.

How can expats become involved and contribute to the lobby? She said that in spite of “legislative changes which are made by the will of the voting citizens and the foreign community, usually, there has been no vote in Portugal; however, they can always express their opinion on this "barbaric practice" both in the municipal councils and parish councils or even to political parties, writing and appealing to them in order to ban this barbaric practice in Portugal”.

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I am an advocate for these dogs. Let them live free and get a forever home like every other dog. Humans made them race for greed!!! These are God’s creatures. Please let them run free to a good home.

By Connie Sparks from USA on 21-04-2021 01:24

These precious amazing dogs deserve better than injuries and death on a race track. Despicable!

By Evelyn Rosa from USA on 19-04-2021 12:35

Leave these beautiful dogs alone

By Shannon from Other on 18-04-2021 10:20

Stop Greyhound racing.

By Mohsen Raghian from USA on 18-04-2021 09:43

Please stop all dog racing! This cruel racing has gone on way too long!

By Sandy Dryer from USA on 18-04-2021 09:30

End greyhound racing in Portugal and everywhere else also

By Fawn from UK on 18-04-2021 03:09

Surely there are ways for an enlightened culture such as yours to amuse itself.

By Linda Arndt from USA on 17-04-2021 08:56

If greyhound racing is made illegal will that force it "underground"? And possibly more abuse.

By Keith McCracken from USA on 17-04-2021 08:26

End this cruelty

By Sandra Whitener from USA on 17-04-2021 07:48

I have never seen so many falsehoods in one article in my life. The person who wrote this article had to know that they were writing things that were untrue. Why don't you interview this person and ask them to provide proof of their outlandish prevarications. Despicable!!

By David Leckey from USA on 17-04-2021 02:13

Stop dog racing, it’s totally cruel.

By Diane German from USA on 17-04-2021 01:04

Please stop this barbaric sport

By Lynda Evans from UK on 16-04-2021 11:12

Greyhound racing is a mass murdering cruel sport which has no place in 2021, it needs to be shut down!

By Kim Moon from UK on 16-04-2021 09:51

Leave the greyhound to be dogs not money machines

By Victoria Herking from USA on 16-04-2021 08:19
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