Andrea Dawkins MP | Greens Animal Welfare spokesperson
I had the pleasure of tabling a petition in Parliament today in support of ending the government subsidised, cruel practice of greyhound racing.*
Almost 3,000 Tasmanians signed the petition. They represent a large part of the community who are concerned about greyhound racing in Tasmania.
This is an industry that sees dogs cruelly treated. And when they don't run fast enough they're killed.
While live baiting incidents haven't been proven in any Tasmania, it's clear the we're not immune from the practice. And we are certainly not immune the underlying cruelty in the industry.
Last year, almost 500 greyhounds were killed in Tasmania. At last week's Estimates Committee, former-Minister Brooks confirmed that this year has already seen over 300 reported injuries to greyhounds.
This is an industry of animal cruelty and death that is propped up by the taxpayer. People are aware of the plight of animals being abused for human entertainment and profit, and don't accept the practice.
For too long, governments have accepted the cruelty of the greyhound racing industry, and propped it up with taxpayer funds.
Modern community expectations don't condone the cruelty of greyhound racing, and neither should our government.
We hope the new Racing Minister, Jeremy Rockliff, sees the sense in ending this brutal industry.
* Petition Text:
The petition of the undersigned citizens of Tasmania draws the attention of the House to the fact that:
• Between 13,000 and 17,000 healthy young dogs are killed each year by the greyhound racing industry in Australia.
• The industry has failed to reform in any meaningful way to stop the routine mistreatment of animals.
• Dogs are being exported to jurisdictions with no animal welfare protections, including Macau, where they are subject to poor living conditions, risk of serious injury and almost certain death.
• Greyhound racing is a poor employment generator and its continuation at significant taxpayer expense is inconsistent with the public interest.
• In Tasmania in 2013/2014, only 121 of the 607 greyhounds that exited racing in were re-homed and 486 were killed.
• Half of the greyhound pups born in Tasmania in 2015 were not even named.
• For the 28 Tasmanian races held in the 8 weeks to 24 December 2015, stewards reported 78 pre-race injuries, 31 cases of pre-race illness, 51 racing injuries, 7 pre-race deaths and 3 deaths at races.
Your Petitioners therefore request that the House:
1) Calls on the Government to:
a) end greyhound racing in Tasmania;
b) fund a Greyhound Racing Transition task force to help industry employees find new work and facilitate the re-homing of greyhounds; and
c) lobby the Federal Government to prohibit the export of greyhounds for racing or breeding.