MORE than 50 greyhounds and allied dogs had walkies around Hyde Park on Sunday January 10 in support of a campaign to phase out the racing industry by 2025.
The walk was hosted by racing abolitionist group Free the Hounds and supporter Greens upper house MP Alison Xamon.
The number of racing dogs injured or killed has dropped in recent years, but Ms Xamon says it still has to end as no reforms will eliminate all suffering:
“Greyhound racing is a fundamentally cruel industry based on exploiting animals simply for the sake of gambling profits,” she said.
Speaking to attendees Ms Xamon said it was “no longer be considered an acceptable form of entertainment.
“It also says volumes that when Florida recently voted to outlaw gambling on greyhound racing it effectively signalled the death knell for the industry.
“This is not a hobby, it is animal cruelty to support the gambling industry.”
Industry authority Racing & Wagering WA states one of its goals is to “uphold the highest standard of animal welfare” and its annual report for 2019/20 says deaths dropped that financial year.
One reason was WA’s injury rebate scheme, where some track injuries attract a government subsidy for the vet bill.
It’s meant to deter owners from killing injured dogs to save on vet expenses, and last year had its cap increased from $1,200 per injury to $3,500.
Since then euthanasia due to injuries has dropped by more than half, but still 19 injured dogs were killed last financial year, and 17 retired greyhounds were euthanised.
by DAVID BELL