Page 2305 - Week 07 - Tuesday, 1 August 2017
these issues in this place. This is a privilege not afforded to the wider community and groups like the RSPCA, so today I take this opportunity to outline the key issues and criticisms that the Greyhound Racing Club have attempted to silence through baseless legal actions.
The Greyhound Racing Club cannot deny the fact that their own steward reports show over 300 recorded injuries in Canberra since 2012, including 26 catastrophic injuries which led to greyhounds being euthanised. There is considerable publicly available evidence in the McHugh and Durkin reports on the greyhound racing industry showing serious injuries, dogs being euthanised and positive tests for using banned substances in Canberra.
The Durkin report also provides a list of 42 greyhounds that raced at the Greyhound Racing Club that never competed in another race or trial following their last race in Canberra. Thirty-one dogs are recorded as euthanised or dead from natural or unknown causes. Seven of these greyhounds were euthanised trackside following vet inspections. Seventeen of these deaths occurred within one or two months of the dog’s last race.
I am also aware of a formal complaint that is currently being investigated by Access Canberra regarding over 30 uncleared drug swabs from greyhounds racing in the ACT from 2012 to 2016. This is in addition to five trainers found guilty of using prohibited substances in Canberra. With fewer than six per cent of starters being swabbed in 2015, there are serious concerns about how comprehensive this data really is.
On the issue of live baiting, the RSPCA has records which include trainers who have been found guilty of live baiting offences in New South Wales and Victoria who have raced their dogs in Canberra. This further highlights the finding of the Durkin report that the ACT greyhound racing industry and the New South Wales industry are inextricably linked. We cannot pretend that the extensive ﬁndings of abuse and neglect highlighted in the McHugh report have nothing to do with greyhound racing in the ACT.
Data analysed by the RSPCA shows that the vast majority of individuals who participate in greyhound racing in the ACT are actually from New South Wales, including 90 per cent of all starters and 89 per cent of trainers. Therefore, while I have already outlined a number of examples of animal welfare concerns found in the ACT, we must also recognise the extensive evidence exposed through Michael McHugh’s report as being relevant to the local industry.
He found that the industry: implicitly condoned as well as caused the unnecessary deaths of tens of thousands of healthy greyhounds; engaged in the barbaric practice of live baiting; caused and will continue to cause injuries to greyhounds that range from minor to catastrophic; treated greyhounds as dispensable commercial commodities; and deceived the community concerning the extent of injuries and deaths caused during race meetings.