On Monday night, I introduced a Notice of Motion in support of the Greyhound Racing Prohibition Bill 2015, to ban the sport of greyhound racing. Since the shocking ABC Four Corners episode ‘Making a killing’ was aired, there has been a public outcry against the cruel practices within the greyhound racing industry. It is not just the dogs that are victim to this foul sport, as the deplorable footage shows, live baiting of piglets, rabbits and possums is rampant as a training method. The prolonged images and suffering, half dead animals that are treated as chew toys to chase is incredibly out of touch with the community’s values of animal welfare. We have been fed images of happy, well-pampered dogs, and we are enraged to see what hides behind the glossy pictures that the industry has painted.
Of course, while the documentary has given us insight on the violent and brutish tactics used to train the dogs, such as live-baiting, we must not forget about the cruelty that the dogs themselves endure, or that they equally, are victims in this repugnant industry. Animals Australia gives us the details of just how inhumane conditions are for greyhounds, and has convinced me of Council’s need to speak out against a sport that occurs in our very backyard in Wentworth Park. An industry that locks up these gentle natured dogs for up to 23 hours of the day in small, single-dog crates, and feeds them drug cocktails not limited to cocaine, methamphetamines and Viagra, cannot convince me of their animal welfare principles. Nor can their ‘surplus’ which Australia wide, leads to euthanizing approximately 18,000 dogs; 8000 of those are puppies that are not deemed profitable.
Whilst there are rescue shelters for greyhounds that are doing fantastic jobs, with healthy, well-socialised greyhounds available for adoption, unfortunately they cannot keep up with the huge turnover rate that the industry produces. We must stop supporting this industry that leads to such widespread death and cruelty, and catch up with the rest of the world.
My Notice of Motion was amended by the Deputy Lord Mayor. The amended motion calls for greyhound racing to be banned if the industry does not improve its practices following the NSW Parliament’s special investigation. You can see the Motion here. I look forward to seeing the outcomes of the special investigation.
If you are able to assist in fostering or adopting a retired greyhound, please see: http://www.animalsaustralia.org/features/guide-foster-adopt-greyhound.php