It’s common to hear the phrase “but greyhounds love to run” bandied about as an excuse for the greyhound racing industry to exploit a breed of creatures they refer to as ‘product’. And sure enough, any greyhound adopter will tell you that their pet, like any other dog, enjoys a run off the leash. But running and racing are not the same thing.
What proponents of greyhound racing neglect to acknowledge is the inherent danger of taking eight large, fast dogs and putting them on a track where they inevitably bunch up together and knock each other over chasing the same item. This danger is compounded by the use of oval-shaped tracks, where greyhounds end up grouping together at the bends and smashing into each other. One in eight racing greyhounds will die or be euthanised due to injuries at race tracks.
Still unsure? Well, here’s a look at one week in racing across Australia (22 – 28 Jan 2017) – and the disgraceful number of greyhounds killed at the race track alone.
22 Jan 2017 – South Australia
Armalite was the favourite when he broke his right hock racing at Gawler and was ‘humanely euthanised’. The race commentator called it “bad luck for connections and punters of Armalite”. He had placed in 14 of his 19 starts, winning $7650 in prizemoney.
Armalite fails to finish after breaking his hock
Armalite had just turned two years old. His GRV race form sums up his last race as ‘11EASEDFTFVINJDECEASED’.
23 Jan 2017 – Western Australia
Commander JayJay collided with other dogs 5 times during race 4 at Cannington. He suffered a fractured/dislocated right hindleg hock and was given a 90 day standdown period.
Zip Zap collided with another dog and pulled up on the third turn with a fractured/dislocated right hindleg hock in race 5. He was “humanely euthanised” at the age of less than two years old.
A track inspection was then conducted and ultimately the race meeting was abandoned due to the surface being unsuitable for racing.
Extract from Steward’s Report Cannington, 23 January 2017
24 Jan 2017 – Tasmania
Missile Ben faltered on the first turn in qualifying trial 2 at North West track. He had a fractured right hock and was “humanely euthanised”. His GRV record sums up his last race as ‘FELL INJ EUTHANISED’ in comments.
Missile Ben was one of a litter of 11 dogs. Of the others, 3 are unnamed and 6 are recorded on GRV as ‘Retired’, leaving 1 still racing. Missile Ben himself raced 68 times in 16 months and had just turned three years old before he was killed.
25 Jan 2017 – Queensland
Hara’s Blaze finished “a considerable distance from the remainder of the field” at Albion Park track. He had an injured nearside hock and was “humanely euthanised”.
Hara’s Blaze raced 53 times, won $13,139 in prizemoney and had just turned 3 years old.
26 Jan 2017 – New South Wales
Fascinate Joel “went amiss” approaching the home turn at Maitland track. He had a fractured offside hock and was “humanely euthanised”. He was two years old and this was just his second race.
Fascinate Joel struggles to finish at Maitland
27 Jan 2017 – New South Wales
Part Of Them injured his offside hock at Richmond track in the Globe Memorial Company Stakes and was “humanely euthanised”. Part Of Them had placed in 17 of his 25 starts and was under three years old.
A second dog, Jordanic, also suffered an offside hock injury and was given a 70 day standdown period.
28 Jan 2017 – Victoria
Fine Flynn collided twice with other dogs and fell along with Gotham Queen at Warragul track. Gotham Queen sustained an injured left shoulder and concussion, while Fine Flynn fractured his right radius and ulna and was “humanely euthanised”.
Fine Flynn was under 2 years old. He had placed in 5 of his 7 races, winning $2,165 in prizemoney.
Fine Flynn and Gotham Queen falling at Warragul
What about the rest of January?
The other weeks in January weren’t much better. Here is what happened based on the currently available (not all) racing industry’s own steward reports:
- NSW: 10 dogs were euthanised at the track, while 18 dogs suffered injuries so serious they required standdown periods of 42 – 70 days.
- VIC: 11 dogs were euthanised at the track, while another 10 ended up with fractured bones.
- QLD: 7 dogs were euthanised at the track, while another 6 suffered injuries so serious they received standdown periods between 6 – 12 weeks.
- SA: 5 dogs were euthanised at the track, while another 7 suffered injuries so serious they received standdown periods between 3 – 6 months.
- WA: 5 dogs were euthanised at the track (all at the ‘state of the art’ Cannington race track), while another 7 dogs suffered fracture injuries with standdown periods of 42 – 90 days.
- TAS: 2 dogs were euthanised at the track.
That’s a total of 40 dogs killed in a single month that we know about*.
That’s more than one greyhound a day being put down at the track for injuries sustained while racing.
If you think this is unacceptable, join us on 9 April 2017 to Shut It Down. Speak up for the greyhounds and tell our governments that this ‘sport’ has no place in our society today.
*RIP to the 40 greyhounds killed by the racing industry in January 2017. These dogs’ names were only uncovered by dedicated volunteers who combed through the industry’s race day stewards reports to find the truth. Remember these names so they will not be forgotten:
- Stalag Thirteen
- Cairnlea Donny
- Adam’s Blue Boy
- Big Roy
- Spring Dawn
- Gold Compass
- You See Niki
- At The Ready
- Black Model
- Golden Fang
- Ronray Dreamer
- Borris Delight
- Jacaranda City
- Blue Pirate
- Fling Lass
- Road Driller
- Quick Fuel
- Jocker’s Wild
- Fabio The Weapon
- Jack’s Jet
- Lehigh Limit
- Yvonne Bale
- Dream Of Gigi
- Dyna Xanadu
- Zip Zap
- Missile Ben
- Dyna Dalma
- Hara’s Blaze
- Fascinate Joel
- Pass You By
- Part Of Them
- Fine Flynn
- Spring Rocca
- Bright Eraser