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The NSW Government recently reversed its support on the ban on greyhound racing that was intended to take effect from July 2017.
NSW Greens MP Dr Mehreen Faruqi is working hard to reinstate the ban. More details to come.
The Special Commission of Inquiry into Greyhound Racing in NSW has found that animal cruelty is not only systemic to the industry, but that the industry is unlikely to reform.
- 68,000 greyhounds are slaughtered before reaching the track
- Up to 20% of trainers have been found to use live baiting
- Four Corners confirmed in December 2015 that many trainers export their greyhounds to Macau for being too slow for Australian races. The dogs languish in concrete cells, regularly sustain injuries and experience a 100% euthanasia rate.
- The industry is unsustainable and declining: While about 13,000 people participate in the greyhound racing industry, the industry employs at most 1,500 people directly and indirectly, including transport and retail workers alongside trainers and breeders. At least 40% of these jobs are not full-time, secure employment. The NSW Greens are advocating for a just transition for workers with opportunities to reskill and retrain in other industries.
The greyhound industry in the ACT is small, exploitative and expensive.
Greens MP Shane Rattenbury and the ACT Greens called for an end to the greyhound racing industry in February this year. The ACT greyhound industry is regulated by Greyhound Racing NSW, so when Mike Baird called for an end to dog racing in NSW, the ACT were well positioned to echo the call.
The ACT ALP Chief Minister is following the NSW lead and has committed to winding down this exploitative industry. The ACT Government currently gives Canberra Greyhound Racing Club $1 million a year to prop up the industry. That money should be used instead to help transition industry participants away from this cruel sport and towards new opportunities.
The ACT Greens have recently released a transition plan that will see dogs re-homed and owners offered retraining opportunities.
Show your support for the ACT ban and pressure local MPs to support this legislation.
The Queensland Greens have long supported campaigns against the cruelty involved in greyhound racing, and supported the campaign of the local community in the City of Logan to stop a new greyhound racing track being built in their area. Queensland was central to the revelations of the widespread cruelty to dogs and other animals involved in the greyhound racing industry which were revealed on the Four Corners program in February 2015.
The state government set up a Commission of Inquiry with limited powers, which reported in June 2015. This recommended setting up a separate Racing Integrity Commission, which was implemented through legislation in 2016.
The Queensland Greens believe this action is too little too late and will not stop further incidents of cruelty and widespread dog deaths and support the moves of the NSW and ACT governments to wind up the industry as soon as possible. The State Government should financially assist the re-employment of workers involved in the industry.
The Victorian Labor government currently does not support a ban on greyhound racing.
Victoria has had two inquiries into live baiting, including the 2015 Own Motion Inquiry into Live Baiting in Greyhound Racing in Victoria by the racing integrity commissioner, Sal Perna and the other by the chief veterinary officer, Dr Charles Milne.
Some of the 68 recommendations have been implemented. This includes increased penalties for live baiting; increasing the hours that inspectors can check properties; that the Greyhound Racing Victoria board includes an animal welfare officer; and promotion of animal welfare, including greyhound welfare, across the industry.
Victorian Greens MP Sue Pennicuik has been working hard on this issue and has called for Victoria to follow NSW's lead and end greyhound racing. She has also called for an independent regulatory body for all animal welfare.
Sue’s Members statement raised in Parliament on 17 August refers to her question to the Minister the day before regarding a thorough review into the culling of greyhounds in Victoria. Sue pointed out the vast difference between the scope of the NSW Special Commission of Inquiry into Greyhound Racing and the two much smaller inquiries conducted in Victoria last year.
The Tasmanian Liberal Government does not currently support a ban on greyhound racing. They recently voted down Greens MP for Bass Andrea Dawkin's motion to end the industry.
There are approximately 800 greyhounds in the Tasmanian greyhound racing industry at any given time. Tasracing reports 300 greyhound deaths annually. If other states are any example, many go unreported and this number is likely to be higher as a result.
Andrea Dawkins has requested the wastage rates from the Industry, yet so far no information has been made available. Live baiting figures are also unclear, though anecdotal evidence suggests it may be occurring in Tasmania. She has also pushed for more government funding for greyhound re-homing and adoption programs that have proven to be more effective than Tasracing's Greyhound Adoption Program (GAP).
After postponing its release from last year, the Joint Select Committee is due to release its report on the greyhound racing industry in September this year.
South Australian Greens MP Tammy Franks has called for an inquiry into the greyhound industry in South Australia. So far rehoming rates and the number of greyhounds euthanised have been shrouded in secrecy as the industry refuses to disclose these figures. An inquiry will ensure that these figures are made public.
Support the call for a parliamentary inquiry by signing the SA Greens' petition here.
The Northern Territory hosts the smallest greyhound industry in Australia, with one racetrack in Darwin which holds around 300 races held per year. There is less transparency about “wastage” rates and treatment of the dogs in NT, however we know that most greyhounds are not bred in the NT but are imported from the southern states. A ban on greyhound racing in NSW and Victoria would reduce the number of greyhounds used by the industry in the NT.
A submission from a Northern Territory dog trainer to the 2013 NSW Inquiry into Greyhound Racing in 2013 describes the re-homing efforts by a non-industry aligned body costing $250-$550 per dog (subsidised by a generous local vet). This indicates re-homing efforts of the NT Darwin Greyhound Association may be systemically insufficient.
Ending the small greyhound racing industry in the NT should have only a negligible effect on the NT economy, while the greyhounds will benefit hugely from a fairer and more humane treatment as valued pets.
The Greens support a transition package for the workers in the NT greyhound industry.
Greens MP Lynn MacLaren and the Western Australian Greens oppose greyhound racing in the state.
The Greyhound racing industry in WA operates on three tracks. The Western Australian greyhound industry protests it’s much better regulated than NSW. However recently a former WAGRA Board member and trainer refused to cooperate with regulators over a live baiting investigation and was convicted for using a lure containing animal tissue.
After being disqualified from greyhound racing, the convicted 45 year industry veteran admitted that he had been involved in live baiting and had regularly been approached by others just last year seeking to use live bait and carcasses.
Such a high level admission must cast doubt over an industry that by its own data has euthanized over 860 dogs in the last two years, the only period statistics are readily available for. Those dogs represent 43.5% of retired greyhounds, more than ten times the figure of deaths from natural causes.