The Facts about the Australian Greyhound Racing Industry

  1. Excessive breeding and killing of young, healthy dogs.
  • On average, 20,000 greyhounds are born each year. Only around 3,000 of these dogs qualify for racing. The vast majority of the remainder are killed.
  • Despite overbreeding and excessive killing, governments encourage more breeding with taxpayer funded breeding incentives.
  • Mass graves reveal evidence of inhumane killing (e.g., dogs being bludgeoned to death)
  • Dogs are abandoned in the bush to die of starvation.
  • Dogs are sold to illegal dog fighting rings as live bait.
  • Dogs are given to vet schools to be have their blood drained while still alive and then killed.
  1. Widespread Criminal Behaviour (Doping and Live Baiting).
  • Dogs are live baited. Small live animals (possums, rabbits, cats, kittens) are used to encourage dogs to chase. These animals are tied to a lure and mauled to death by the dogs. Baited animals who have not died are sometimes kept alive with their horrific injuries for a later chasing session.
  • Live Possums used as lures in “rolling cages” and used for months at a time until they are eventually live baited and killed. This is considered by those in the industry as “more humane”.
  • IIlegal drugs and other substances are used so that dogs run faster. Substances include performance enhancing hormones, cocaine, amphetamines, and Viagra. These substances are injurious to the health of the dogs. Their use is an offence under criminal law and prohibited drugs legislation.
  1. Cruelty on the Track
  • On average 4 to 5 dogs are injured every week on the track and large numbers are killed as a result of their injuries.
  • In Victoria alone during 2013, 3023 were injured and 84 were killed following their injuries.
  • Heat stress is a concern since dogs are transported in unconditioned vehicles, and raced regardless of the weather.
  1. Poor Quality of Life
  • Greyhounds are bred in puppy farm-like conditions.
  • Racing greyhounds are housed their entire short lives in small kennels similar to puppy farm conditions.
  • They spend more than 23 hours of every day of their lives (except on racing days) in small kennels with only 2 periods of 10 minutes of exercise per day or to relieve themselves.
  • Some have no protection from the seasonal elements and no bedding.
  • They are provided no stimulation.
  1. A Cruel and Corrupt Gambling Industry Subsidised with Tax Payer funding

    NSW:  $13 Million in tax breaks;  $1 Million in track upgrades

    Victoria: $10.5 Million for track developments; $1.55 Million in breeding incentives

    South Australia: $200,000 in government grants; $200,000 for marketing

    Queensland:  $12 Million in track development; $1.2 Million annually in appearance fees

    Northern Territory:  $800,000 track upgrades and prize money

    Western Australia:  $13 Million for new race track

    Tasmania:   $27 Million including two other racing codes.

  1. Industry Failure in Duty of Care
  • The industry takes no responsibility for the care and rehoming of dogs who do not qualify for racing 
  • The industry takes no responsibility for the care and rehoming of dogs when they retire from racing, often at the young age of 3 or 4 years. 
  • Industry adoption programs are little more than a public relations exercise with extremely small numbers of dogs being rehomed.
  • A small number are rehomed by volunteer rescue groups and the remaining thousands are killed.

7.    Greyhounds are gentle, loyal and intelligent dogs who make
ideal companions.

They are not racing or chasing machines.


Author: eleonoragullone

I am an author, adjunct associate professor in psychology and have advocated for animal welfare for more than 15 years. On the basis of my extensive research, I can confidently argue that if we cultivate a culture of compassion toward all of our non-human citizens, including those currently exploited for human use (such as food, sport and experimentation), current and future generations will benefit through reduced antisocial and violent behaviour toward all sentient beings including humans. Over my 25-year career as an academic, I have published over 100 scholarly articles in refereed academic journals and have also conducted a number of projects examining the link between aggression toward humans and cruelty toward animals. In 2000, I founded a group within the Australian Psychological Society focused on promoting positive interactions between humans and animals. This work has resulted in several scholarly publications including a book published in 2012, titled Animal cruelty, Antisocial Behaviour and Aggression: More than a link.

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