About Dog Racing: "4-D" meat
"4-D" meat is used by by the dog racing industry to reduce costs
At racetracks across the United States, dogs are fed a diet based on "4-D" meat. This is meat derived from dying, diseased, disabled and dead livestock that has been deemed unfit for human consumption. The United States Department of Agriculture requires that charcoal be added to this meat to discourage human use.
According to an industry handbook, "4-D" meat is used at commercial dog tracks because "it is the most economically feasible for the Greyhound industry at this time."
Problems associated with the use of "4-D" meat
As a result of eating "4-D" meat dogs can be exposed to pathogenic microorganisms, including Salmonella, Campylobacter jejuni, and Escherichia coli. In addition, the use of "4-D" meat can lead to false drug positives due to drug residues that dogs ingest and pass into the urine. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, raw 4-D meat "may present a potential health hazard to the animals that consume it and to the people who handle it." In 2014, two dogs died and close to 100 fell ill at Daytona Beach Kennel Club in Florida from a suspected case of "bad meat."
"4-D" meat is fed to greyhounds raw
The dog racing industry defends the use of "4-D" meat by claiming that it is also used by commercial pet food companies. While it is true that "4-D" meat may be found in commercial pet foods, the use of "4-D" meat at commercial dog tracks is distinctive because it is fed to dogs raw. Cooking meat destroys bacteria, but greyhound trainers are reluctant to do so for fear of negatively impacting racing performance.
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