The case for and against the Greyhound Racing Ban

09 October 2016
The case for and against the Greyhound Racing Ban

What Happened?

In early July 2016, it was announced by NSW premier Mike Baird, that NSW would ban all Greyhound racing from July 1st, 2017. This comes after a special commission inquiry into the practices occurring in this industry which discovered that there was significant cruelty towards both underperforming Greyhounds and other animals used as live bait. The RSPCA and Animals Australia also considered this a major victory for Animal Welfare. However the Greyhound Industry which employs over 2,000 people has contested this decision in court due to the impact on the industry. 

The Commission Report Facts

The main points of the commission report are below:

  • Between 48,891 and 68,448 dogs were killed because they were deemed uncompetitive as racing dogs. This will continue to happen if Greyhound Racing industry continues.   
  • Trainers continue to use "Live Baiting" as a means to train their Greyhound. This is essentially hooking a live animal (like a piglet, rabbit or native possum) and flinging them around a track at ridiculous speeds which leads them to a slow and painful death. 
  • Greyhound racing is only commercial in 8 countries globally, making Australia one of the few where is is still legal (it is only currently banned in NSW).
  • These practices are too deeply ingrained in the industry to be capable of widespread reformed 
For more information, you can view the The NSW Commission report .

The Impact of the Decision on Greyhounds

There are 6,809 registered Greyhounds in NSW that need to be transitioned out of the industry when the ban is implemented on 1st July 2017. If a home is not found for these Greyhounds, they will be humanely euthanised.

The Impact of the Decision on People in the Industry

The Greyhound Racing industry is worth $335 million annually to the NSW economy and employs around 2,781 full time jobs. The Greyhound Racing ban will mean that people currently working in the industry will need to find a new job opportunity by the time the ban comes into force in July 2017. While the government are providing support and assistance for people in the industry to find new jobs, they made the decision to ban Greyhound Racing without having a transition plan in place. This also means that many of the people who did not have anything to do with the malpractices of the industry are put in compromising positions, especially if they do not find another job.

How you can help

One way is to adopt or foster a Greyhound. Although a commitment towards owning a dog is significant, there is no more effort to owning a Greyhound than any other dog. In fact they are built to sprint and do not have a great deal of endurance. To adopt or foster, please visit Animals Australia to check a list of shelters with Greyhounds.

Another way to help is to donate towards a shelter or use Energy Pledge's model to raise funds for this cause.