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20 February 2015 - HSI supports calls for an end to greyhound racing in NSW      

 

HSI Supports calls for an end to greyhound racing in NSW

20 February 2015
 

Humane Society International (HSI) continues to call, in light of the shocking revelations of live baiting and disturbing animal welfare practices that were aired on ABC’s Four Corners earlier this week, for an end to greyhound racing in NSW.  The Australian greyhound racing industry is the third largest in the world, and over 17,000 greyhounds are put down each year, due to injury or not meeting racing requirements.  More than 3,000 dogs are killed annually in NSW alone.

Even with the spotlight shining on an industry riddled with inhumane practices and with an outpouring of public opposition to this “sport”, neither the Coalition Government nor the Labor Party have any apparent plans to dismantle the industry in NSW, with Labor standing by its proposal to allow the industry a $100 million tax break,Verna Simpson, Director, Humane Society International Australia said.

In 2013, an inquiry was held into greyhound racing in NSW and HSI presented a submission to the NSW Parliamentary Select Committee on Greyhound Racing in NSW.  Focussing on animal welfare concerns, concerns over governance, reports of links to organised crime and controversy over funding distribution, HSI concluded that it was strongly opposed to the continuation of greyhound racing in NSW for the following reasons:

  • High rates of over-breeding and large-scale killing of greyhounds
  • Industry’s acceptance of high level of greyhound ‘wastage’
  • High rates of injuries sustained during racing, often fatal
  • Reports of the use of performance enhancing drugs on the animals
  • Reports of inhumane methods of killing, often to healthy animals
  • Reports of links to organised crime
  • Insufficient commitment by GRNSW for the welfare of the animals
  • Lack of funds means no animal welfare improvements planned
  • Insufficient regulation and monitoring of animal welfare by GRNSW
  • Lack of close regulation of GRNSW’s Code of Practice
  • Insufficient penalties awarded for breaching animal welfare standards 
  • Ineffective re-homing program adopted by GRNSW
  • Greyhounds exported to countries with inadequate welfare regulations
  • Distinct lack of importance awarded to the welfare of the animals

 

If it transpired that Government was unable to bite the animal welfare bullet and ban the so-called “sport” then HSI proffered the following recommendations:

  • Significant increase in GRNSW funds allocated to improve animal welfare
  • No incentives awarded which encourage over-breeding of greyhounds
  • Close regulation of GRNSW’s Code of Practice
  • Heavy penalties for those who fail to abide by GRNSW’s Code of Practice
  • Accurate data collection by GRNSW on greyhound statistics
  • Data on the greyhound industry to be made available to the public domain
  • Increased funding allocated to greyhound re-homing programs
  • Percentage of betting funds used for animal welfare & re-homing programs
  • Independent government body to oversee welfare of racing greyhounds
  • Introduce more stringent monitoring on illegal drug use
  • All greyhounds to be registered with councils and micro-chipped
  • Phase out the use of cornered tracks to reduce injury toll
  • Offer rewards to those who report  inhumane killing methods
  • Offer rewards to those who report use of live baits during training
  • Ban the killing of healthy greyhounds
  • Ban export of greyhounds to countries with inadequate welfare regulations
  • Ban the use of ex-greyhounds in research or for use in veterinary schools

 

The inquiry into Greyhounds NSW found an unacceptably high rate of animals killed, across the board welfare failures, bullying and victimisation of participants who are outspoken in their criticism of the industry, a lack of reliable data and public accountability, the doping of greyhounds and links to organised crime. 

These findings were ignored by the NSW Government and the inquiry failed to provide sufficient reform the industry needs to ensure the future welfare of greyhounds,” Ms Simpson continued. “It seems this industry is above the law.”

 “HSI is therefore calling once again on both the Coalition and Labor to end greyhound racing in NSW, and for Labor to immediately scrap their $100 million greyhound industry tax break proposal.  The Government should not be using NSW tax payers money to reward an industry so steeped in cruelty and crime, particularly when the overwhelming majority of their constituents want an end to this outdated cruelty,” Ms Simpson concluded.


 





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