What’s Wrong with Greyhound Racing?
Killing greyhounds for gambling IS NOT OKAY.
There are around 20,000 greyhounds bred for racing in Australia every year, with the only possible outcome an early death for most of them. This figure does not include: ‘discarded’ puppies from accidental litters or discarded because they do not have the right racing traits.
Greyhound racing only exists by over breeding and killing large numbers of dogs, and the economic viability requires that profits be valued above welfare.
Just in the state of NSW alone, there were 90,000 greyhounds bred in a 10 year period, with only 2552 being registered as companion animals. The CEO of Greyhound Racing NSW admits they do not have records to show what happens to greyhounds and their “best estimate” is around 3000 being killed annually in that state. We believe that this best “best estimate” is a gross underestimate and it is more likely 6000 killed per year – just in NSW.
On average, every single day in Australia, a Greyhound dies or is killed on a track in Australia as a result of the injuries they suffer from racing. Injuries are rife, and even minor injuries can lead to the killing or disposal of the dogs.
Overbreeding, exploiting and killing greyhounds for gambling, for a hobby, for greed is not acceptable. Spending taxpayers’ dollars on a betting industry that uses and abuses a breed of man’s best friend is not okay. An end to greyhound racing would have little or no impact on wagering revenue as people would just bet on something else.
Please take the time to learn about this industry and the treatment of greyhounds.
We are sure that you will agree with us that Greyhound racing MUST STOP.
~ A quick guide to why greyhound racing must be banned ~
1. Mass overbreeding over the last 12 years, resulting in the deaths of 48,891 – 68,448 greyhounds because they were too slow or unsuitable for racing. The industry term for this is “wastage” – the dogs are regarded as ‘disposable products’ of this gambling industry and are subject to routine killing.
2. Unacceptably large numbers of on-track race injuries and deaths: greyhounds race on an oval track at extremely fast speeds. Collisions, crashes and catastrophic injuries are common, and each race is a recipe for disaster. At least 87 greyhounds have either died on the track or been euthanised for racing injuries since the start of the year in New South Wales alone. That’s around 12 dead greyhounds a month.
3. Poor living conditions with many racing greyhounds living in solitary kennels with inadequate socialisation: this is just bad for the dogs’ welfare all around because dogs are social pack animals. Imagine being locked in a cage for most of the day with no company? This causes the dogs to be stressed, anxious and bored, and some dogs get so traumatised that they require extensive rehabilitation before they can be rehomed. The widespread use of barking muzzles to control their self-soothing behaviours like barking, chewing and licking just adds to the stress of this confinement.
4. DIY vet care is common: greyhound racing is an industry and like any other business, cost-cutting is rampant. Greyhound racing participants will use unqualified people (called “muscle men”) instead of vets; and carry out DIY home remedies like blistering the skin on top of a dog’s broken leg to “fix” a fracture in order to save a few dollars. The end result is dogs living in pain with injuries that are not treated properly.
5. Countless trainers have been charged and suspended for giving their dogs illegal substances such as ice, steroids and cocaine just to name a few. Penalties for drug cheats in greyhound racing have historically been regarded as ‘soft’. Fielding race meets is the primary objective of the industry and suspensions and disqualifications have a negative impact on this.
6. Widespread and systemic “live baiting” training methods. This cruel and barbaric activity, although illegal in Australia since 1979, has been found to be prevalent and ingrained, largely regarded as a “normal practice” for training Greyhounds to chase and win races. It is almost impossible to catch people live baiting, which is why animal advocates needed to go undercover to catch people.
7. Two years ago the greyhound racing industry indicated they would need $154 million to stay economically viable and this does not include the funds required to implement any for the 34 reforms that the industry is pushing for. There is no money available to implement these reforms.
Why I want greyhound racing to stop by Lisa White
A rescuer’s perspective on why greyhound racing MUST end
This excellent speech was made by Lisa White, the President of Friends of the Hound Inc., at the public forum on Feb 6th, 2013, as part of the recent NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into greyhound racing.
Friends of the Hound Inc, is a charity based in NSW and Queensland which rescues, rehabilitates and re-homes greyhounds. Lisa has had more than 600 greyhounds through her home that she and her family have cared for.
Ms WHITE: As the founder and President of a volunteer based, non-profit greyhound rescue group, I am at the end of the line for greyhounds, spending the past 11 years acting basically as a waste management agent. Participants simply cannot keep them all. I get told week in and week out, “We cannot keep them all.” You have heard from many sources that the majority of greyhound racing participants are hobbyists. The Cambridge dictionary defines a hobby as “an activity that someone does for pleasure when they are not working”. According to the Australian Taxation Office an activity is a hobby if there is no reasonable expectation of profit or gain. I received a call from a hobbyist, a 75-year-old local greyhound trainer, who said that she and her colleagues wanted to know what I had against greyhound racing. I explained that I was opposed to the overbreeding of around 20,000 dogs a year for gambling, only to have the majority destroyed when they are no longer useful. After talking for nearly an hour about the issues, she admitted to me that in her time she has probably put to sleep about 300 greyhounds.
Our small organisation with 35 active volunteers now manages to rehome between 100 and 150 greyhounds per year. That equates to two years of dedicated volunteer effort to clean up after just one hobbyist and their pursuit of pleasure. Would it not be nice if greyhound racing groups did not need to exist, if thousands of greyhounds did not need to be saved from an early death? Instead of spending up to 20 to 30 hours per week saving discarded dogs from a profit-driven gambling industry, my family and I could enjoy a pleasurable activity because having a waiting list of up to 80 beautiful greyhounds that I know that our organisation cannot possibly get around to saving in time certainly brings me no pleasure. The parliamentary inquiry has heard demands for fairness, rewards for greyhound racing participants and deserving a fair go. They talk about working seven days a week, long hours, hard work, large expenses and not enough prize money and profit. They say the inter-code agreement is killing their industry. We say their industry is killing dogs. It is the dogs, the animals, that are the product of this racing industry that deserve a fair go. Thank you.