Q and A: What will happen to the dogs when greyhound racing shuts down?

  1. What will happen to all the greyhounds when greyhound racing in Australia shuts down?

According to official documentation, the greyhound racing industry in Australia kills up to 17,000 young dogs every year (http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-09-28/nsw-greyhound-racing-industry-in-crisis-inquiry-hears/6809724).

Thus, while greyhound racing continues to be legal in Australia, 17,000 dogs are killed EVERY YEAR. Once the industry is shutdown, this killing will immediately stop.

The 20,000 dogs who are bred will no longer be bred.

It is extremely unlikely that greyhound racing will end in the entire country at the same time. Rather, it is likely that there will be a phase-out, with the industry likely to shut down one state at a time.

This means that there may be an initial movement of dogs across states away from the states where the industry is no longer legal to states where it remains legal.

As fewer states allow dog racing, the number of dogs bred will decline and the number of dogs available to be killed by industry will also decline.

Eventually, once the industry shuts down Australia-wide, greyhound breeding for racing will stop.


  1. Will people begin to use the ex-racing dogs in illegal ways such as for hunting or for fighting since racing them will be illegal?

People are already using the ex-racing dogs in illegal ways – as has been reported in several media reports this year.

In fact, one of the biggest problems with the industry NOW, while it is legal, is that it is characterised by illegal behaviours – as Australians have clearly seen in 2015 alone with the increased attention on greyhound racing since the Four Corners live baiting expose in February.

There is now substantial evidence that ILLEGAL behaviours already occur RAMPANTLY. These include:

  • Around 90%, if not more trainers who have used live baiting
  • Regular doping of dogs with banned and illegal substances
  • Killing of dogs – often in cruel ways – because they don’t run fast enough
  • Live export of slow dogs to China, Macau and Vietnam


  1. If the industry is no longer legalised, isn’t there a risk that the dogs will be killed cheaply and in cruel ways because there is no longer industry control and tracking?

What the inquiries that have been held around the countries have shown us this year (2015) is that there is ALREADY cheap and cruel killing of dogs. There is already rampant live baiting and doping. Tracking of dogs is so unreliable that knowing what happens to the dogs from birth to death is impossible.

The industry watch dogs have been complicit in the illegal behaviour and the cruelty. Making the industry illegal cannot possibly make the situation worse.

The industries are currently functioning as though there are no laws because a blind eye is turned to ALL illegal behaviours. This has been the clearest in NSW as revealed recently in the FOI documents reported by the ABC.


  1. If greyhound racing ends, won’t the greyhound become extinct as a pure breed? Is there the likelihood that they will be interbred with other species and we will no longer have greyhounds?

There are a growing number of Australians and people around the world who love greyhounds as companion animals. Some of the people currently breeding greyhounds for racing, can turn their attention to breeding them as companions.

Indeed some may be inter-bred as happens with all other breeds. We will still have the pure breed greyhound though because people love them.

We do not race other dog breeds or use them for commercial purposes or gambling and they have not become extinct. Why will it be any different for greyhounds?


If you have questions that have not been answered here, please send a query to the Coalition for the Protection of Greyhounds Facebook page (see link below) and we will attempt to answer it.

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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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