Conflicted about MA state Question 3: Banning dog racing

As others have pointed out, both sides on this issue are jumping up and down shrilly screaming the facts as they claim to see them at the top of their lungs…


But real, verifiable facts are mightily hard to come by. I’m personally rather conflicted on this one.

Both my wife and I are serious dog people. She can spot a puppy at 500 yards in a bustling crowd.

She is getting all sorts of messages from the MSPCA and their ilk claiming that the dogs are being horribly abused and that it must stop RIGHT NOW.

The Vote No on 3 contingent is mostly coming off sounding combative and shrill as well. Their Boston Globe piece reminded me of conservative talk radio – it might as well have been written by Rush Limbaugh.

The folks over at Protect Dogs and Jobs are citing the loss of 1,000 jobs and $4 million in state revenue if the ban passes, and claiming that the incidence of dog injury in the sport is incredibly small (1 injury for every 1000 dogs racing – something like .1%) and compare that to the injury stat for Girls Volleyball which is at 1.47%. the only thing I keep hearing from these folks about the abuse allegations is “Owners have every incentive to treat their dogs well, so they’ll race well” – but I’m not sure how well that theory holds water.

So who is right? Are the dogs actually being abused, or is this people getting carried away with themselves on principle and ignoring the actual facts of the matter?

As a voter, it’s a tough call. I have my mind pretty well made up on the other two (No and yes respectively) but I’m very much on the fence with this one.

Does anyone have any opinions on this? Or better yet any actual experience with the way the dogs are treated?

[ Edit: November 3rd, tomorrow is E day 🙂 My wife and I plan to hit the polls early. I am no longer conflicted about this question, due to some excellent responses I got on my LiveJournal and some tertiary research I did as a result, I am now solidly in favor of the ban. I’m concerned that dogs which participate in racing are adversely effected by this, and their personalities are permanently damaged as a result. ]


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