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Byron Shire
September 17, 2021

Blood money

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Desmond Bellamy, PETA Australia

Five years ago, a special Commission of Inquiry into the Greyhound industry found ‘damning evidence of the unnecessary slaughtering of tens of thousands of healthy dogs’.

The NSW government did the only ethical thing and banned the industry, but subsequently backflipped, with the premier reporting that the community had asked ‘Why did you not give the industry one last chance?’.

Well, how did that ‘one last chance’ go?

The statistics, from the industry itself, are damning. Stewards’ reports show that almost 50 per cent more greyhounds died in the first half of 2021 than in the same period in 2020. These figures do not include dogs who suffered serious injuries leading to euthanasia later, or those killed during trials.

There were more than 1,500 injuries in that period, an increase of 12 per cent. Many injured dogs are unable to return to racing, and their fate is undocumented.

I have two rescue greyhounds in my family – they are gentle dogs who want nothing more than to snuggle and spend time with their people and be included in their families. Instead, the racing industry treats them like machines. Many are ‘discarded’ as puppies in the name of ‘selective breeding’. Others are shot, bludgeoned to death or simply abandoned to fend for themselves when they’re deemed too old, injured, slow or exhausted to continue racing profitably.

The NSW government has poured over sixty million dollars into this industry since 2017, but the abuse and suffering just gets worse. The people of NSW deserve better than to see their tax money wasted on propping up a cruel and immoral industry, and the dogs certainly deserve better than to be used and abused and then discarded like old betting slips. It’s time to ban greyhound racing for good.

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