Running out of luck

MAYLANDS MP Lisa Baker wants to ban the export of Australian greyhounds to countries without animal cruelty laws.

For years Ms Baker has fought for better treatment of greyhounds in Australia, arguing that overbreeding leads to “wastage”.

Dogs that aren’t fast enough, don’t have a competitive nature or get injured are often killed.

But dogs shipped overseas to countries with no welfare laws are subject to even worse fates.

On May 9 Ms Baker lodged a grievance motion in state parliament about the issue.

• Aussie greyhounds can face a hell of a time if they’re exported to countries with no welfare laws.

Boiled alive

“No one with an ounce of integrity or compassion would send an animal to a country where there are no welfare laws; where dogs are eaten, beaten to death, boiled alive or slammed to death. We have footage of all of these things happening, unfortunately,” Ms Baker said.

In July 2018 the huge greyhound racing stadium Canidrome Club in Macau closed down.

For decades it had been a place of misery for Australian greyhounds, who were either raced to death or killed when faster dogs came along.

Greyhounds Australasia, the racing industry’s governing body, stopped allowing its registered members to export to Macau in 2013 over longstanding welfare concerns.

But that didn’t stop unregistered operators shipping hundreds of dogs a year to Macau; many of them supplied by registered trainers and breeders offloading dogs who weren’t fast enough to race in Australia.

Ms Baker wants the federal government to close the loophole to protect the dogs.

While 520 dogs were spared by the closure of Canidrome, Australian greyhounds are still being sent to China, Dubai, Hong Kong and Vietnam.

In response to her motion, state racing minister Paul Papalia said he’d tried to get federal agriculture minister David Littleproud to amend the law but the response was “woefully inadequate,” as Mr Littleproud told him it was within a states’ power to regulate greyhound exports.

• Lisa Baker at the Global Greyhound Walk in June last year. Fellow Labor MP Stephen Price (right) has one pet greyhound and is now adopting one of the dogs rescued from the Canidrome.

Inherently cruel

Mr Papalia said a WA-born greyhound could simply be shipped to another state and then sent overseas, and he would be “writing immediately” to the new agriculture minister post-election to “ensure that a national approach is adopted”.

While Labor party policy has been to work with the greyhound racing industry to improve standards; the Greens want an outright ban.

Greens MP Alison Xamon describes greyhound racing as “inherently cruel”, and that the industry relies on “overbreeding of puppies, and wastage (a polite term for the euthanasia of animals not suitable for racing) is rife”.

by DAVID BELL

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