Johannesburg – Underground Greyhound racing is on the up in the Eastern and Southern Cape, it was reported on Friday.
The Weekend Post, in the Eastern Cape, reported that dogs, which were frequently abused and starved, were taken in minibus taxis to farms where they were used to hunt down vulnerable or endangered wildlife.
The “taxi hunts” were believed to generate up to R2m in bets on Saturdays, the newspaper reported.
Greyhound racing had been illegal in South Africa since the late 1940s, it wrote.
While proponents of the sport were waiting for a decision by the trade and industry department on whether to lift the ban, animal organisations were united in the fight against the formalisation of the sport.
The King William’s Town National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NSPCA) inspector and volunteer Annette Rademeyer said people saw the dogs only on race day and that “they looked all right”.
“They do not see that these animals are kept in tiny cages for most of the day; that they get drugged and abused; that the ones that no longer run are disposed of or abandoned.”
However, Shane Brody, who had apparently claimed he used to be involved in the racing industry, told The Weekend Post that if the ban was lifted, controls could be put in place, the industry could be monitored and the public and government would benefit.
“If you look at any activity hard enough for abuse, you will find it,” he said.