A greyhound’s speed should not determine whether it lives or dies. But prior to 2016, at least 5,500 healthy greyhounds were being killed every single year in NSW, simply because they couldn’t earn their keep in the racing industry. And despite the 2017 industry reforms, we don’t know if this is still happening today.
It’s been five years and yet too many greyhounds are still slipping through the cracks of the racing industry, at risk of being killed because of a loophole in the law.
That’s why last week in Parliament I introduced our Whole-of-Life Tracking Bill, which will ensure that greyhounds are tracked by GWIC (the independent regulator) for their entire lives.
Currently, if a greyhound is injured during a race and is subsequently retired, but its owner, trainer, or a bookie decides to keep it as a pet, GWIC can keep tabs on the dog and take steps to check on its welfare if they choose.
If, however, that same greyhound is given to the owner’s brother, or next door neighbour, or adult daughter, GWIC has no jurisdiction to check on the dog no matter what they suspect may have happened to it.
In 2020 alone, 239 healthy greyhounds were transferred off the racing industry books without going through any rehoming programs or services. Because of these gaps, any of these greyhounds could have been killed — we don’t know, and neither does GWIC.
Our Bill will close these gaps, ensuring that every single greyhound involved in the racing industry is actually tracked from birth to death, whether or not they are owned by industry participants.
It will guarantee that rehoming and euthanasia standards include all greyhounds which are or have ever been connected to greyhound racing.
When the NSW Liberal-National Government brought the racing industry back from the brink in 2017 they promised whole-of-life tracking for every greyhound, but their own legislation has tied the hands of the independent regulator.
Now is the time to fix this law. No greyhound deserves to be killed because it can’t run fast enough. By passing our Bill, we can make sure that whole-of-life tracking genuinely accounts for every single greyhound.