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Byron Shire
July 21, 2024

Getting it right for greyhounds

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Susie Hearder with Lisa White President of local Friends of the Hound Greyhound Adoption Group and friends. Photo supplied.

Greyhound rescuer and Animal Justice Party candidate for the Tweed, Susie Hearder, will head a protest tomorrow against the proposed greyhound racing facility at Chinderah.

The rally will be held at Corowa Park the site earmarked for the facilities will reportedly include a new circular track. Hearder says this is despite these types of tracks having been proven to be the most lethal of all, causing many injuries and deaths to the greyhounds.

‘Greyhounds are gentle animals who thrive with love and human companionship – and instead, they are forced to participate in this gambling sport, living 20+ hours per day alone in a cage,’ said Hearder, who has two greyhounds rescued from the racing industry.

‘Both have scars and medical issues related to their racing days and I often look at them and think how they are two of the very lucky ones who are now used to being pampered rather than being abused for profit.

Placid, quiet, gentle, social, and loving companions

‘They are the most placid, quiet, gentle, social, and loving companions you could have.’

Hearder says that in 2016 Greyhound Racing New South Wales commissioned the University of Technology Sydney to analyse injury data for NSW greyhound racing tracks. ‘The primary recommendation of the UTS report, Identifying optimal greyhound track design for greyhound safety and welfare’, was that “Clearly the best option is to use only straight tracks”. The plans to build a new circular track at Chinderah flies in the face of this recommendation, and will force greyhounds to run on a dangerous track knowing there is a high risk of injury and death.’

Hearder says that up to 200 dogs are reported injured during official races each week with 25 dogs killed already on track this year. ‘I object to the use of taxpayer funds for the greyhound racing industry.

One hundred million government dollars propping up gambling industry

‘This Government has spent over $100 million in propping up this gambling industry. Government funds should be put toward the welfare of people and animals before the greed of the gambling industry.

‘This facility will only increase problem gambling in the area and the continued injury and deaths of these gentle animals. There are already 27 tracks in NSW, how many more does this industry think the public should fund?’

Ms Hearder also spoke in support of local Tweed group Friends of the Hound, founded by current President Lisa White. ‘Lisa founded Friends of the Hound over two decades ago when she discovered that all the greyhounds being surrendered to the Tweed Pound were automatically killed without being given an opportunity to be rehomed.

‘They have now rehomed over 3,500 dogs, with more than 850 of those individuals having passed through Lisa’s home.

‘The racing industry continues to breed 11,000 pups every year, and it falls to these selfless volunteer-run groups to rescue, rehabilitate and rehome the innocent, hopeful lives they discard as “wastage”.’

The rally will be held at 10am, tomorrow, Saturday 11 March at Corowa Park.


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