There have long been calls for an end to greyhound racing. These increased after the ABC’s Four Corners program in a joint investigation with the RSPCA and Animals Australia, exposed widespread use of live baiting across three states which prompted a special inquiry in NSW and two further inquiries in Victoria.
The NSW Report of the Special Commission of Inquiry into Greyhound Racing found ‘immense’ levels of injury and ‘wastage’ in greyhound racing that it said, cannot be overcome.
Animals Australia report that up to 17,000 healthy greyhounds are killed in the Australian greyhound racing industry each year with most dying before their fifth birthday.
Greyhound Racing Victoria (GRV) revealed that in 2015-16 more than 3,000 greyhounds had been euthanased. Due to public pressure, the industry has worked to reduce the overbreeding and killing of large numbers of greyhounds every year. GRV reports this year that 1,429 greyhounds were euthanised – that is still too many needless deaths and it is not clear that the industry will be able to further reduce the number of greyhounds that are euthanased just because they are deemed not good enough for racing.
More and more countries are banning greyhound racing and only six states in the USA still allow active dog racing tracks. The Greens are calling for greyhound racing to be banned across Australia. This would include a government-funded transition plan for workers and animals in the industry.
Tell the Victorian Racing Minister that greyhound racing is completely unacceptable.
In February 2015, the ABC program Four Corners broadcast footage of live animals being used to ‘blood’ greyhounds in an explosive exposé. The graphic footage was captured as part of a six-month undercover operation involving Four Corners, Animals Australia and the RSPCA which uncovered widespread live baiting in the greyhound racing industry in at least three states on the eastern seaboard of Australia.
The program shocked the community, damaged the reputation of the industry, and proved that animal abuse in greyhound racing is systemic, and common amongst greyhound trainers and even officials.
Following the live baiting scandal, the Victorian government commissioned investigations into greyhound racing by the Racing Integrity Commissioner and the Chief Veterinary Officer.
In NSW, on the motion of the late Dr John Kaye, the New South Wales Government launched a far-reaching and comprehensive special Inquiry into Greyhound Racing, headed by Michael McHugh AC QC. This seminal report documented the illegal, immoral and horrific practices that are the core of the cruelty that is inherent to greyhound racing.
The New South Wales Special Commission of Inquiry into Greyhound Racing examined the allegations of animal cruelty, and ultimately recommended a complete shut-down of the industry. The Commission’s 800-page report contained damning findings, and was described by then-Premier Mike Baird as “chilling, confronting [and] horrific”. After its release, Mr Baird committed to ban greyhound racing and was congratulated by animal welfare groups. He later reversed this decision due to political pressure.
The Victorian inquiries by the Racing Integrity Commissioner and the Chief Veterinary Officer made 68 recommendations to the government, some of which have been implemented. These include increased penalties for live baiting, appointing an animal welfare officer to the board of Greyhound Racing Victoria, and ‘promotion of animal welfare, including greyhound welfare, across the industry.’
The 2015 Victorian Racing Integrity Commissioner’s report into the industry estimated as many as 4,000 greyhounds are killed every year in Victoria before their fifth birthday. He called for an Inquiry into it, which the government has refused to commission.
The Racing Integrity Commissioner also recommended the establishment of an independent statutory body which the Greens have long called for, however, this recommendation has not been implemented.
In response to the reports, the government, following public consultation, replaced the former Code for the Operation of Greyhound Establishments with a new Code of Practice for the Keeping of Racing Greyhounds which was released in April 2018.
“This industry is responsible for the injury and deaths of tens of thousands of greyhounds. A code will not fix that.” – Sue Pennicuik MP
It’s clear that greyhound racing has lost its social license – that’s why so many community members attend rallies and protests in support of a full ban. Watch Sue’s speech to the #ShutItDown rally in Melbourne in April 2017.
I urge you to end greyhound racing in Victoria for the welfare of the thousands of dogs being exploited for profit.
Numerous investigations and inquiries have exposed the greyhound racing industry as cruel and corrupt, with a culture of systemic and pervasive animal cruelty. An estimated 18,000 healthy greyhounds are killed in Australia each year, with only a small percentage of greyhounds being adopted.
- Put an end to greyhound racing as soon as possible;
- Create a welfare plan for the future of greyhounds currently housed in the industry;
- Implement a just plan for trainers and other workers to transition to other employment.
Greyhound racing has no place in our state. Please listen to the concerns of experts and the general community and end greyhound racing in Victoria.
Authorised by S. Ratnam, 45 William St, Melbourne VIC 3000