Change is happening. It is inevitable. The industry has been told to clean up its act if it wants this ‘sport’ to survive in Australia. These reforms come as a result of findings from a recent inquiry into greyhound racing in NSW. The severe and ongoing mistreatment of these dogs is completely unjustifiable and yet this seems to be exactly what the industry is attempting to do. You only have to go onto the greyhound racing forums to witness the ‘poor us, we are so hard done by’ attitude that the majority of these racing participants have adopted in regards to the proposed reforms. Go on, see for yourself, jump on the Greyhound Racing Victoria Facebook page and read the comments under any of their posts regarding the reforms. I encourage you to find just one person who is able to admit the deeply entrenched flaws that were found in the industry in order for these reforms to be brought in to place. Instead these victims are claiming animals rights activists have somehow managed to make it all it up and that these reforms will ‘destroy their livelihood’ (because they may actually have to go out and get a real job). But wait a minute… We repeatedly been told that those involved in this industry do it for the ‘love of their dogs’ and aren’t in it for the money at all. If the industry is so squeaky clean and there is nothing wrong with it then these reforms shouldn’t be so incredibly hard to follow. By the way, some of these ‘impossible’ and ‘unrealistic’ requirements include providing staff to be onsite with greyhounds, ensuring daily feeding requirements are met, ensuring greyhounds have adequate water at all times, daily cleaning of the housing areas, providing appropriate socialisation, exercise, handling and training and immediate reporting of pregnancy or illness/injury. They must also provide safe and appropriate transport for the greyhounds.
Oh and this one nearly made me sick… one of the duties of the greyhound attendants is to ensure any dead greyhounds are reported and the bodies are removed from the greyhound area. Also they must make arrangements for ‘humane’ euthanasia with a vet. I mean seriously? The fact that this even needs to be in written form is itself a demonstration of the complete lack of compassion and care that many of these people must have. I’ve read through the proposed reforms for Victorian racing and I didn’t find anything in there that shouldn’t already be happening if these greyhounds are supposedly so well treated anyway.
So for those industry participants who claim they do the right thing by their dogs and love them so very much, these reforms shouldn’t even be a problem for them. Yet we’re not hearing any of this. Not a single person stated that, yes many members in our industry were found to be scum, and yes we deserve to pay the price for this if we want to clean up our act and regain the trust of the public.
So whether these industry participants are blind, ignorant or corrupt the fact is, they refuse to admit their past mistakes and have a complete and utter disregard for the reforms that were designed because of this. They stubbornly refute claims of mistreatment in their industry such as high quantities of greyhound ‘wastage’, regular injuries on the track, over breeding, inadequate care and socialisation and poor housing conditions. The fact that these people are fighting the reforms rather than accepting that they messed up, very clearly demonstrates that this is an industry which is unwilling and unable to change in order to protect the safety and welfare of these animals.
It’s time we stopped giving them chances, let’s ban this barbaric sport once and for all!