Dear Hon. Pakula,
I am writing to express my absolute horror upon finding out that you have created a fund to prop up the racing industry. With almost weekly discoveries of horse and/or greyhound doping or cheating of other sorts and following clear evidence of torturous animal cruelty in the greyhound racing industry involving live baiting, it is clear that the greyhound racing industry has lost is social and moral license to operate.
Your own government’s report following the greyhound racing inquiry in Victoria made it clear that there is no doubt that live baiting has occurred and continues to occur. Trainers who have long been respected within the greyhound racing industry have been stood down and have received life bans for their criminal behaviour.
In last year’s Melbourne Cup, two horses lost their lives. The numbers of death in jumps racing are excessive beyond belief because jumping while racing is not something that horses are physiologically built to do.
We have seen research telling us that whipping horses is painful and provides no benefit whatsoever to the race outcome, yet, still horses are whipped.
The racing industry is a gambling industry. Not only is gambling responsible for destroying human lives and families, research has repeatedly shown links with criminal bikie gangs and other criminal elements in society – in addition to the criminals within the industry itself.
There are no benefits WHATSOEVER provided to society from the gambling, criminality and animal abuse encouraged by the racing industries. Most Australians in society are turning away from these antiquated industries in droves. Yet you have taken it upon yourself to REWARD the very individuals whose moral and social license has been lost.
The Animal Justice Party does not in any way support this decision.
We want greyhound racing banned. We want jumps racing banned. We want horses who continue to be involved in racing to be more highly respected and treated. This should include a retirement plan for horses.
Mr Pakula, the animals involved in the racing industry need you to look out for THEM. Up until now, you have dismally failed in that role. Instead of helping the vulnerable and powerless animals, you have chosen to support the perpetrators of cruelty and the criminals. This is not the type of society Australians want.
We urge you to more diligently make your decisions and to consider the opinions of the Australians who you represent as well as the animals caught up in the unfortunate portfolio you are in charge of.
Eleonora Gullone, PhD
Animal Justice Party, Manager National Greyhound Racing Campaign Coordinator
Psychologist, Associate Professor (Adjunct)