The opening of the inquiry into the NSW greyhound industry is likely to leave the country stunned. Worse than that, it is likely to leave the industry in tatters, showing that they kill more dogs in the greyhound industry in this country than the RSPCA. The big question on everyone’s lips is how the industry could survive this and should they be allowed to?
A confidential report by Greyhounds Australasia and Greyhound Racing SA show the industry is killing the dogs that underpin it at between 74% and 96% per year. The Australian reports that it shows 13,000-17,000 healthy dogs are killed in the industry each year our of 17,500 dogs. The RSPCA apparently puts down 7,307 dogs.
A report by Four Corners back in June 2015 uncovered evidence that greyhound racers have been secretly ‘blooding’ their dogs with rabbits, rats and other small animals as a part of “systemic and widespread cheating”.
Animal welfare groups have expressed their disgust for the practice, which is illegal and archaic but the system has been waiting for an enquiry to open up the practices and draw conclusions on the depths of the issues. Apparently the issues run deeper than any of us could have predicted.
“As little as four in every 100 greyhounds born each year will make it beyond about 42 months of age,” counsel assisting the special commission of inquiry into the NSW greyhound industry Stephen Rushton SC said to The Australian.
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“As many as 96 in every 100 healthy young greyhounds born each year will be destroyed by the industry which bred them”.
Today’s numbers show abhorrent cruelty, but the insights that will flow from here may well be both shocking and damning, taking a look into the allegations of inappropriate distribution of TAB funds and mistreatment of dogs.
But, from today, it’s not just the evidence of the cheating and illegal live baiting practices that make everyone angry and may make thousands of greyhound races invalid. It is the cruelty to these harmless creatures that needs an even bigger look, so we as a nation think about what the industry is really built on.
So tell us today, are you surprised by these numbers? And what do you think should happen to this industry?