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Byron Shire
December 5, 2021

Tweed’s greyhound megatrack an ‘economic disaster’

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Animal Justice Party’s MLC Mark Pearson says that even putting animal exploitation and death aside, the proposed multi-million-dollar Tweed megatrack would be an economic disaster. Photo supplied.

There are so many people opposed to the prospect of having a greyhound track in the Tweed area, it’s a wonder it’s still on the table, yet the plans for the ‘megatrack’ appear to be moving forward.

Animal Justice Party MLC Mark Pearson, says that if the Tweed region wants to remain the vibrant and attractive tourist and family destination that it is, investing millions into a greyhound megatrack that will become an empty eyesore before it’s paid off, is not the way to do it.

A politicised earthling

‘Is there a dog more politicised than the poor gentle greyhound? Five years on from Baird’s backflip on the banning of greyhound racing, it’s absurd to think this is an issue we’re still debating in the chambers of NSW Parliament.’

Mr Pearson says that just last week, the Tweed’s own proposed greyhound racing megatrack was subject to a good grilling at Budget Estimates. ‘The Minister for Better Regulation, Kevin Anderson, was asked why an oval-shaped track is part of the Tweed Heads Coursing Club’s proposed Chinderah megatrack, despite evidence clearly showing that straight tracks are safest.

‘The Minister replied that having both a straight and oval track “provides an option” and that his aim is to have “zero injuries and zero deaths”.’

Mark Pearson would like to see and end to greyhound racing. Photo supplied,

A lofty but ludicrous goal

Mr Pearson said that it’s a lofty goal, but sadly ludicrous, given the nature of the industry. ‘NSW greyhound track deaths are up 44 per cent on last year (up to 56 as of yesterday), and 2021 has seen 2546 racing-related injuries in NSW alone, with 462 of these considered major.  A zero-death and zero-injury industry is nothing more than a pipe-dream.

‘When I posted about Anderson’s greyhound goals and the Tweed track on social media, a Tweed resident said: “Many of us are absolutely shocked this is going to happen here”.’

‘I’m shocked too. Animal exploitation and death aside, the proposed multi-million-dollar Tweed megatrack would be an economic disaster. We know the industry has already started its terminal decline: attendance at NSW greyhound races has dropped more than 50 per cent in the past decade alone. Even more importantly, the Coalition for the Protection of Greyhounds reports that 80 per cent of racing greyhound breeders, owners, and trainers are over the age of sixty-five, and that young people are failing to enter the industry – is it any wonder why?

Investing in greyhound racing about as wise as investing in coal

Mr Person said that clearly, investing in greyhound racing in 2021 is about as wise as investing in coal. ‘While the NSW Government insists on propping the industry up and forcing it to limp to the bitter end, it’s important to remember our government is an embarrassing oddity on the world stage.

‘Just look to America. Right now, over 400 members of the United States Congress are preparing to vote on the Greyhound Protection Act, a bill that would make it a federal crime to engage in commercial dog racing, including betting on Australian and other international races from America. Already banned in 47 of the 50 U.S. states, the end of American greyhound racing is near, and would leave just six countries with a commercial greyhound racing industry.

‘It’s a mortifying fact NSW is an international outlier in our fervid support of this cruel industry; we have almost the same number of greyhound tracks in NSW (32) as there are in the UK, US and NZ combined (34). But as the greyhounds of America are liberated from their kennels, state by state, the world is watching – and paying attention to those countries clinging to a gambling industry reliant on animal cruelty.

Animal Justice Party’s Mark Pearson and his own dog Oscar. Photo supplied.

The U.S. Greyhound Protection Act

Mr Pearson said that over thirty international animal protection organisations have rallied together to endorse the U.S. Greyhound Protection Act. ‘I know, because I’ve joined them. My name was among many on a letter sent to every U.S. congress member, urging them to support the bill to ban greyhound racing. But the pressure isn’t just international. Here in NSW, just this year, a parliamentary inquiry was called to investigate the industry’s welfare body, the Greyhound Welfare Integrity Commission.

‘In the halls of NSW Parliament, I can feel the tide turning, and the industry is running scared. Just a couple of days after the release of a new white paper by the Coalition for the Protection of Greyhounds, every NSW MP received an email from Greyhound Racing NSW claiming the industry “exceeds” animal welfare standards. But statistics don’t lie, and we all know what’s really happening.

‘Greyhound racing is dying from a thousand cuts; and while the Tweed megatrack would be a single butterfly stitch on this gaping wound of an industry, rather than making it run another lap, it’d be kinder put this poor dog to sleep.

‘Northern NSW, you’d be right to reject the Chinderah megatrack. It’s the kindest option you have.’


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25 COMMENTS

  1. Why do people always target greyhound racing, they don’t target horse racing and the trots, there has been a horse put down in the past 10 Melbourne Cups excluding 2021 and winning trainer Chris Waller only wanted Verry Eleegant to come home safe and that’s just 1 race a year, imagine what happens the rest of the year, what doesn’t get reported. Far more horse’s than greyhounds don’t make it to the track, what happens to those horses? Greyhounds love to run and were born to run, that’s why they are built the way they are and horses have to be broken in to race, is that very pleasant? I love the greyhound industry and if the fullback for Melbourne Storm Ryan Papenhuyzen promotes Greyhound Racing and the Industry, are these people saying Ryan is cruel and evil.

    • Jay, you love the greyhound industry with all its cruel practices and putting greyhounds at risk of injury and death. I love greyhounds and that’s why I detest the greyhound racing industry.

    • Jay,

      Children love to run – horses love to run – most dogs love to run – when it’s THEIR CHOICE.
      Trapping a dog or a horse or a child into a harness and saying “GO NOW” is not fun.
      Killing a horse or a dog or any earthling when they don’t perform well, or because hey were stupid enough to sustain an injury while they were being forced to run is NOT fun.
      Just because one inhumane form of animal abuse is worse than another form of animal abuse,it doesn’t many the lesser of the two evils ok.
      Clearly RYan cares not for animals.

    • 20,000 greyhounds are killed each year not to mention the drugging of these poor innocent souls. Its a discusting industry and everyone involved in it. Its a dying industry and will be shut down..

  2. Stop this abomination, this cruelty to animals. Australia is a backward country when it comes to animal protection. Horses are whipped and raced until they bleed internally or break bones. Then carted off to slaughter. Greyhounds incurr terrible injuries and death.. Some are sent to China to race or are tortured and butchered for the dog and cat restaurant trade. The Chinese and Vietnamese ignorantly believe the more an animal is made to suffer the better the meat is to eat. How shameful how animals are treated in Australia. When will the horror stop?????

  3. I have two rescue greyhounds that are lucky to be alive due to the “wastage” of the greyhound industry.

    This archaic “sport” is cruel to animals.
    Greyhounds are injured and die on the track ALL THE TIME.
    The injured ones are never taken to a vet but euthanised to save money.

    In what crazy reality is gambling over animals running ok?

    It’s a no brainer…
    The only beings benefitting from this are those that are part of the industry and gaining from exploiting animals for their own profits.

    Please sign the petition to oppose this track:
    https://www.al.org.au/oppose-tweed-greyhound-track

  4. Greyhound racing is a dog killing industry. It breeds far too many puppies in the hope of finding those that will make money. Greyhound Racing NSW boasts that they have a 75% ‘utilisation rate’ for puppies. But that means 25% are discarded. And then there’s the tracks deaths, the injuries and the euthanasia of young dogs by the industry because they decide they are ‘unrehomable’ due to the way they’ve been treated. We should be closing tracks, like the US, not building more.
    Please sign the petition to tell the NSW government we don’t want another dog-killing track.
    Thank you Mark Pearson.
    (another post in this thread has a link to a petition)

  5. It is beyond belief that the push continues for any new track to be built given the increasing opposition to this cruel and horrible industry and increased death and injury on track. With what the NSW government considers an acceptable 25 % of pups not utilised, what’s their accepted fate? Death? Sold off to Universities for scientific research? Where are the unaccounted for? How can the NSW Government continue to justify such cruelty? Greyhound racing must end, these beautiful, gentle dogs deserve better. I encourage anyone looking for a companion to adopt a greyhound. Best decision you’ll ever make.

  6. Overfeeding and ‘wastage’ are hideous problems in the dog and horse racing industries. Track design is key to greyhound injuries, and recently a poor dog broke it’s neck in the catching box post race. Greyhound racing is not a huge employer, and just another form of punting. No need for a new track.
    For Jay Carter, the first commentator, you obviously have not heard the foul trackside saying ‘the only way that horse will win is inside a dog’. Sums up the animal ‘care’ in these industries.

  7. Greyhound racing is inherently cruel and must end. You either love racing or you love greyhounds. You can’t love both because racing puts greyhounds at high risk of injury and death and that’s not what you do to who you love.
    By being the only country in the world where greyhound racing is still popular and not in crumbling decline, Australia once again shows that it has a long way to go before it can be called a civilised nation.

  8. Jay Carter, Greyhounds love to run. Dumb comment. Horse racing is just as bad as greyhound racing. Please educate yourself about all animal exploitation where money, greed, fame and power is put before the care of the animal involved. There should be no use of animals for sport or entertainment in any country. Betting also ruins so many lives as people are dumb and get addicted but our governments and people in power will never let those of us who feel compassion for the animals they abuse stop the racing industry. Your comment proves how misinformed you are.

    • If you truely believe your “no exploitation” stance than why do you not advocate to shutting down all sports that involve children under the legal age of 18? Why are you not at all ballet schools telling parents they cant send their 4yo’s to class because they are young and don’t have a choice? Or are being “forced” to participate by their parents? I don’t see you ranting about any other sports like coursing, agility, animal show’s or even the Zoo’s? Why are you just picking on this 1%? because you can do it easily from the comfort of your armchair hidden behind a keyboard. Please do not suggest that others “educate themselves” when you have no idea who that person is. Judgemental comments are the start of Bully behaviour which is not acceptable in our current society. Certainly no on media platforms like this where you are anonymous.

      • How many 4 years olds die after a ballet class?

        …and yes I believe coursing, agility and animal shows should be banned and I believe ALL ZOOS should be required to have certain animal welfare standards (most do).

        Your tactic of saying “look over there” isn’t a valid argument

        What is YOUR involvement in the greyhound deathtrack industry?

        • So its ok to force children to do sports when they don’t have the ability to say no? and its ok for Zoos to have animal welfare standards, do you even know what the animal welfare standards, requirements and laws are for the racing industry? Have you bothered to even look it up? Do you know that it is regulated on a national level, State industry level, and every state Animal act?

  9. So here is the best bit, You can put any article you want into a small time paper. I found this article from my Google alerts for development. This will bring jobs, construction, and more revenue to the state government than they ever give out. The POC brings in millions that is given to schools, hospitals and other community projects. This article and any survey you put forward will have a zero effect. This is a privately funded project. So many incorrect statements in this article that proves its not a real journalist that has done any fact checking. Its an emotional article to direct you all to this no-name website. BTW Dogs have been banned from going to China for years. If you know of any, or any crudely please report it to the police, and do make sure you aren’t talking about “some guy, years ago, when you were a child” However, in the mean time please have your rant, do your surveys, but do read the reports that GRNSW returns millions to the state of NSW. The industry isn’t in decline, its booming. The industry dosent need to fill out any survey to support the track, they are all registered and employed, waiting for the doors to open. If you don’t like it, that’s fine, go somewhere else and make a life for your yourself and leave others alone. As for the dog killing comments… you clearly have no idea, and have never met anyone from the industry.

    • What a load of nonsense bring jobs hahah its a dying industry. And YES they kill sooooooo many dogs 20,000 a year and thats just the ones recorded.. No one is intrested its going to end soon 🙏

  10. Dear Echo Moderator, I am curious why you have deleted my references to all Animal Welfare strategies put forward by the GRNSW and removed them from my comments, however you do allow for a petition to be included to shut the industry down. Clearly you are not a real balanced journalist but just a bias blog page that only publish comments that support your article. Still waiting for the references to the 20,000 killed every year, when it took over three years to breed 19,000 as per the breeding and registration reports from GRNSW. Proof of evidence is clearly not something that “Echo” wishes to publish.

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