Sunday was an important day for greyhounds, with hundreds of people around the nation rallying to call for an end to the greyhound racing industry. This came in the lead up to the upcoming results of a special commission greyhound racing enquiry. Andy and I joined the Greens, members of Animal Liberation NSW, and countless others to march through Sydney and demand for greyhound racing to be banned.
The greyhound racing industry is a cruel one, and animal abuse is inherent. As with horse racing, dogs are pushed to their physical and mental limits with an estimated 5 dogs dying on the track each week and a further 200 suffering injuries. These beautiful animals are seen as mere commodities, and once they’re no longer fast enough to race the majority are killed because they are of no further use. 9 out of 10 greyhounds born into the racing industry won’t get the chance to live out a full life with 94% not living to see their 4th birthday. Animals Australia estimate that 8,000 puppies per year will be killed because they’re not fast enough to race.
The other victims of this vile industry are of course the animals used for live baiting. Last year, ABC’s Four Corners program brought to light the fact that the greyhound racing industry was conducting secret training sessions with live bait, using piglets, possums, and rabbits to lure the dogs. The footage is horrifying. The practice of live baiting is illegal, and 22 people were suspended by the “sport’s” regulator.
Australia is one of just eight countries in the world that still has a commercial greyhound racing industry. It’s a dying “sport.” As the Honourable Mark Pearson, MP for the Animal Justice Party, said at the rally on Sunday, “this industry must be relegated to the scrap heap of history.” We need to catch up with the rest of the world and get rid of this archaic form of “entertainment.”
No animal should be subjected to this kind of treatment in any circumstances, especially not for the sake of profit. How, in this day and age, do we live in a society where it’s acceptable for animals to be tortured and killed for the sake of gambling. Once again it all comes down to money – the root of so many problems. Senator Leigh Rhiannon of the Greens spoke at Sunday’s rally and noted that the government gives $15 million per year to the greyhound racing industry. The figures are staggering.
The Greens currently have a bill before parliament to put an end to this cruel industry. We need to support them and help persuade the government that the greyhound racing industry should be banned. Visit John Kaye’s campaign page to find out how you can take action. The bill to end greyhound racing will be submitted on the 31st of March. In the meantime we need to spread the word and make as many people as possible aware of this cruel industry.
Greyhounds are gentle, loving creatures who deserve so much more from us. We need to stand up to the greedy trainers who see these dogs as nothing more than money making machines. Wherever money is involved there will always be a tough battle but it doesn’t mean it’s one we can’t win. Life is far more valuable than profit.