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TasRacing – Greyhound Living Conditions

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Tuesday, 30 November 2021

Tags: Greyhound Racing, TasRacing

Ms O'CONNOR - Minister, we have here some pictures of the dogs that are kept at Mr Bullock's facility. I'm just making the observation, or asking you, does this look like - do these dogs look like they're in the care of an animal lover, do you think? They're living in one metre by one metre cages. Do you think that's the practice of an animal lover?

Ms HOWLETT - I'm not going to comment, Ms O'Connor, on -

Ms O'CONNOR - Are you not interested?

Ms HOWLETT - Mr Bullock's kennels or any other kennel or stable in the state. That is a matter for the Office of Racing Integrity.

Ms O'CONNOR - Is that all it's a matter for? The Office of Racing Integrity?

Ms HOWLETT - Let's face it, Ms O'Connor, the Greens want to shut down racing altogether, all three codes.

Mr ERIKSSON - That's right.

Ms HOWLETT - I am not interested.

Ms O'CONNOR - Yes, yes. We do because we are passionate about animal welfare.

Ms HOWLETT - I will not be shutting down racing, under my watch.

Ms O'CONNOR - As minister, don't you think you should take an interest in how these dogs are housed and how they're treated?

Ms HOWLETT - Animal welfare is extremely important to this Government and we've injected more money than ever before into animal welfare. I'm prepared to work with you in relation to animal welfare but I will not be shutting down the racing industry.

Ms O'CONNOR - As I have said before, shame on you.

Ms HOWLETT - I'm sure if Mr Winter was in this seat he wouldn't be doing so either.

Ms O'CONNOR - Well, that's the problem, isn't it, because you've got the major parties in this place not accepting the evidence of an industry that's founded on cruelty and playing politics in order to -

Ms HOWLETT - I'm prepared to work with you, Ms O'Connor, on improving animal welfare; I'm prepared to do that.

Ms O'CONNOR - Yes, you can only go so far when you've got an industry which, at its foundation, is cruel.

Minister, the two IER reports show that between 2013 and 2019, the annual number of foals and pups produced by the industry has declined by 37 per cent, yet the number of horses and greyhounds in training has only declined by 3 per cent. How do you explain this difference?

Mr ERIKSSON - The industry in Tasmania these days is not breeding enough for self sustainability so we import a number of animals from the mainland. There are a number of programs in place, especially around thoroughbred and harness horses - the standard breds and the thoroughbreds - where we encourage breeding because it is a positive benefit to the state. An example is the success of the Magic Millions' sales which was over $3.4 million, $3.5 million in revenue and a lot of those were interstate purchases.