Greyhound Racing Industry Statement

The Greens do have a view that greyhound racing is an outdated industry that promotes animal exploitation. The ACT Greens have long argued for an end to this exploitative industry – by focusing on the welfare of the dogs and supporting the ACT workers to transition.

ACT Greens response, with comments attributable to Greens MLA Shane Rattenbury:

“The Greens do have a view that greyhound racing is an outdated industry that promotes animal exploitation. The ACT Greens have long argued for an end to this exploitative industry – by focusing on the welfare of the dogs and supporting the ACT workers to transition."

“That these advocates would try to suggest that there aren’t serious concerns associated with this exploitative industry is at best, naive—at worst, outright deceptive."

“The publicly available Durkin report outlined a range of concerning outcomes in relation to the greyhound industry the ACT. Among these, the report raised concerns for 42 greyhounds assessed by the on-track veterinarian for suspected injuries when racing at the CGRC."

"These greyhounds raced between January 2014 and December 2015 and none of them competed in another race or trial following their last race in Canberra. 31 dogs are recorded as euthanised, or dead from natural or unknown causes. Seven were euthanised trackside following veterinarian inspection. 17 of the other deaths occurred within 1-2 months of the dogs’ last race. 11 are noted as retired as pets, in re-homing programs, or having been transferred to a new owner. It is not clear in relation to some of these animals whether or not they have successfully been re-homed or simply admitted to the GRNSW Greyhounds as Pets (GAP) program. The McHugh report noted that the GAP had “a dismal record of rehoming”.

As troubling as these concerns are, the Durkin report also found that from around 27,288 dogs that raced over the five years from 2012 to 2016:

·     171 greyhounds experienced minor injuries;

·     92 greyhounds experienced medium injuries;

·     39 greyhounds experienced major injuries;

·     26 greyhounds experienced catastrophic injuries – all of these were euthanised at the track on the day of racing.

If this weren’t enough, extensive evidence provided through the McHugh Report in NSW confirmed that many animal welfare issues including live baiting, use of banned substances and wastage of dogs were endemic to the greyhound racing industry. Among our concerns include records of seven trainers linked to live baiting having raced in Canberra and historical evidence of the use of banned substances in greyhound racing in the ACT. All reports regarding animal welfare issues have been provided to the relevant Minister or the ACT Gambling and Racing Commission for further investigation.

“We believe that the ACT greyhound racing industry is not immune to the numerous problems plaguing greyhound racing industries in other states and territories. It’s a shame that the Canberra Greyhound Racing Club has consistently chosen to focus on criticising the Greens and others rather than address the real issues at hand.

“Now that the ACT is committed to winding down this exploitive industry, we will continue to encourage the government to work closely with local animal welfare groups as part of the transition. The Greens will also continue to work with the Government to ensure strict animal welfare standards are in place for any trainers and breeders who continue to operate in the ACT.”