Pups of Sydney | Making Headlines – Ex-racing greyhounds cheaper to put down than re-home in Tasmania
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Making Headlines – Ex-racing greyhounds cheaper to put down than re-home in Tasmania

It is much cheaper to destroy a greyhound in Tasmania than rehome a dog through an industry-run program – a situation that has angered animal rights activists.

Trainers can pay $110 to have a dog go through TasRacings’ Greyhounds Adoption Program (GAP), where they will be assessed by a vet and then put into foster care to be prepared for adoption.

It costs about $50 to have a greyhound euthanased by a vet in Tasmania.

Emma Haswell, from Brightside Farm Sanctuary, is worried trainers will take the cheaper option.

“They’re being euthanased because there’s no room, because GAP is not taking enough dogs,” she said. “And because the surrender fee is too high.”

Ms Haswell’s animal sanctuary, south of Hobart, took in 98 greyhounds last year.

Just two months into this year, Brightside has already taken in 64.

Despite lobbying efforts Brightside receives no government funding.

The treatment and training practices of trainers in NSW came under the spotlight following a report by Four Corners in 2015, which exposed live baiting, sparking former premier Mike Baird to ban greyhound racing in that state, followed by a backflip.

TasRacing has been allocated $300,000 to operate the GAP this financial year from State Government funding.

In 2016, GAP took in 115 greyhounds and this year has adopted out 15 animals. Ms Haswell said GAP was under-performing.

GAP is not filling the need, they’re not taking the number of dogs that they need to be taking, so most are coming to us.Emma Haswell, Brightside Farm Sanctuary

More stringent rules surrounding greyhound euthanasia were introduced in Victoria last year.

Fran Chambers, coordinator of Let Greyhounds Run Free, said as a result a wave of Victorian dogs were being sent to Tasmania to become pets or be put down.

More stringent rules surrounding greyhound euthanasia were introduced in Victoria last year.

Fran Chambers, coordinator of Let Greyhounds Run Free, said as a result a wave of Victorian dogs were being sent to Tasmania to become pets or be put down.

“We’re being flooded with the dogs because our euthanasia laws aren’t as strict,” she said.

“We don’t know about the puppies still being born that are not going to make it into the industry.”

In September 2016, a Tasmanian Government inquiry into greyhound racing found no definitive proof of live baiting practices in Tasmania and recommended industry funding be conditional on upholding contemporary animal welfare outcomes.

Ex-racers are ‘couch potatoes’

Ms Chambers said stewards’ reports from the past six weeks of greyhound racing still painted a grim picture of the sport in Tasmania.

“There have been 114 race-related injuries and three race-related deaths,” she said.

“Whatever way you paint it, this industry it is not good for the animals.

“They get injured and they die at the end of their racing life and it’s not even a career for them.”

Ms Chambers said more should be done to find homes for animals no longer wanted or needed in the industry.

They are couch potatoes. They love you and they are just the loveliest, most gentle, pets.

A TasRacing spokesman said the $110 charged for dogs entering the GAP was used to offset the program’s costs.

“To put this in context, de-sexing an animal that enters the program usually costs about $300,” they said.

A spokesman for the Office of Racing Integrity said a range of measures were in place to protect an animal’s welfare during greyhound racing.

“As part of maximising animal welfare, any animal that may have underperformed, been bumped during racing or displaying any kind of injury (from minor to more serious) will be checked post-race and treated if required,” the spokesman said.

“All these checks are included in the steward’s report from each race, which are publicly available on the Office of Racing Integrity website.”

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Category

Rights