Just when things are looking up for greyhounds in Australia, Mike Baird performs an epic backflip on the greyhound racing ban in NSW.
While the majority of the population welcomed the ban, a few isolated (but very nasty) individuals put pressure on the government, causing it to overturn the ban.
I cannot even begin to describe how the announcement of the backflip feels to a person who tirelessly rescues greyhounds from the racing industry. It is a huge setback for the welfare of greyhounds in Australia but more importantly, the reversal of the ban shows that the greyhound racing industry can just get away with everything if it promises to reform.
Needless to say, I do not believe in reform.
Historically, the industry has always said it would do better, but it is all just one big PR machine to put the public at ease. And since the public generally does not attend any greyhound races, it is easy to forget what a barbaric industry it is.
But when the ABC unveiled gruesome footage of trainers live baiting their greyhounds in February 2015, it shocked Australia to the core.
The industry already vowed then to reform and stomp out the cruelty. Just like it did decades ago when live baiting was banned.
It has been banned since 1979 under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act in NSW with other states following soon after.
Clearly, the industry was in need of reform way back then and acknowledged that live baiting is cruel. But it did nothing and live baiting is still widespread today. So how exactly is the industry going to stick to a reform this time?
GRV addresses the reform by announcing in its annual report that is has increased the number of animal welfare officers from 2 to 8 in 2015/16 and also introduced a hotline for anyone to report suspicious behaviour.
Does anyone here really think that it is enough manpower to keep thousands of trainers from live baiting the greyhounds and follow up on reports about suspicious behaviour?
And who exactly will report suspicious behaviour? Trainers? Breeders? Kennel hands? If it had not been for the footage taken from people OUTSIDE of the racing industry, it would have never come to light!
And what about those who have been caught live baiting already? The industry vowed to come down hard on those who live bait but in reality, convictions have been overturned and life bans have been revoked.
Tom Noble, one of the most prominent live baiters, has received a three year fully suspended jail sentence for his heinous crimes against greyhounds and other animals.
Does this sound like an industry (and legal system) who actually gives a shit about the welfare of the dogs and other animals?
How would the industry also stop the killing of healthy greyhounds? The report following the parliamentary inquiry into greyhound racing in 2015 in NSW found that “the economics of the industry meant it would not be able to reduce the large-scale killing of dogs to a level tolerable to the community”.
And this ‘economy’ is the same in VIC, QLD and other states across Australia.
It is simply impossible to only breed champions. No matter how much you reduce the number of litters born or how much you promote ‘better’ breeding, there will always be wastage. I know that first hand from all the poor bastards who surrender their $10k greyhound puppies because they would not chase the lure or are not fast enough.
And the mass grave found outside of the Hunter Valley in NSW is only the tip of the iceberg (source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-07-20/nsw-greyhound-racing-killings-hunter-valley-mass-grave/7644012)
Ergo, as long as greyhound racing exists, the cruelty and wastage will continue. Shame on you Mike Baird and all the other puppets who could not stand up for greyhounds.