MAYLANDS MP Lisa Baker will speak at a rally opposing greyhound racing in Victoria Park on Sunday (April 9).
The Coalition for the Protection of Greyhounds and animal welfare group “Shut it Down” are organising a national day of action with rallies across the country.
When Victorian premier Mike Baird almost banned greyhound racing in his state (he flip-flopped) the peak body here, Greyhounds WA, said the local industry had been unfairly tarnished by the bad actions of a few trainers over east, and live baiting did not occur here.
In the most recent published annual report members are also urged to “put the welfare of our greyhounds at the core of all our decisions”.
Last year in parliament Ms Baker asked how many greyhounds were being put down here in WA as a result of greyhound racing. According to statistics from Racing and Wagering WA, in one year at least 477 dogs were put down because they got injured, weren’t very good at racing, or couldn’t be rehomed.
A petition Ms Baker presented to parliament last September stated “Thousands of healthy greyhounds are killed each year because they aren’t fast enough to win. Nine out of 10 greyhounds born into this industry won’t live out a full life”.
Ms Baker told the Voice the public’s getting increasingly concerned about the welfare of greyhounds being bred for the industry and “Racing and Wagering WA have acknowledged that greyhound racing is losing its ‘social licence’ to operate but unfortunately the steps it has taken to improve the welfare of WA’s greyhounds are unlikely to resolve all of these issues”.
Ms Baker points out the industry is currently subsidised by the WESTCHA$E scheme funded by RWWA and “questions continue to be asked about how much taxpayer money should be used to support greyhound racing in WA”.
With hundreds of greyhounds “killed or added to overcrowded animal shelters every year, we have to ask why continue the current WESTCHA$E incentive scheme which encourages the breeding of even more greyhounds,” she says.
“I question the logic of this scheme which encourages overbreeding and ‘wastage’ and suggest it’s time to review its success in achieving effective animal welfare outcomes.”
“It’s time that we stopped encouraging the overbreeding of greyhounds in WA.”
The rally is at McCallum Park this Sunday at 10am.
by DAVID BELL