Finally, we can breathe a sigh of relief; last week the NSW Premier, Mike Baird announced a statewide ban on greyhound racing. The ‘sport’ will become illegal as of the 1st of July, 2017. This is a huge step in the right direction as the industry has been riddled with abuse, deception and death for decades. Many are fighting against the ban however the Special Commission of Inquiry’s report into the industry states very simply why greyhound racing needs to be stopped and for good.
The report is damning… so shocking it’s hard to believe that such extreme levels of abuse actually happen in Australia.
In NSW alone 48,891 to 68,448 dogs have been killed in the last 12 years. These dogs were healthy, fit and friendly animals, killed because they were too slow and therefore not suitable for racing. Dogs that qualify for racing don’t forgo the suffering either, often enduring serious injuries such as broken legs and backs, as well as head trauma. Up to 200 dogs are reported injured during official races each week and 9 out of 10 dogs born into the industry won’t live out their full natural life.
Not only are the dogs killed and injured but also small animals such as, rabbits, possums and piglets. These animals are used as live bait. Dogs are trained to chase and maul these animals as they are flung around the track at high speeds screaming for their lives.
Trainers use live baiting in the hope it increases the dog’s speed on race day. Our charity partner Animals Australia investigated the horrific practice, you can learn more about it here. You can also read the full inquiry on the greyhound industry here.
(image via: Animals Australia)
The ACT has followed suit and has banned racing stating, “The Government cannot continue to support an industry that is turning a blind eye to the sort of behaviour and cruelty uncovered by the special commission of inquiry”. However, Queensland and Victoria are pushing back and say the sport won’t be banned. Brisbane Greyhounds Racing boss Luke Gatehouse stated, “Wherever there is money there is risk, but we are confident the integrity commission is policing the sport properly…”. Understandably, to many this is simply not good enough. But for now let’s celebrate the win, as we can all sleep a little easier knowing many lives will be saved.
You can help these race dogs to live out a happy and healthy life by fostering or adopting greyhounds. If you’d like to learn more head to http://greyhoundrescue.com.au/ for more information. Or donate and fundraise to charities working to end animal cruelty.