Every day in Victoria 10 greyhounds are injured, and 2 are killed or die on the track
The annual report documents that in the 18/19 Financial Year:
- 4533 puppies were registered
- 2631 were adopted – 987 through the industry Greyhound Adoption Program (GAP) but many more – 1644 through non-industry rescue groups.
- 687 greyhounds were killed (euthanised)
- There were 86 racetrack fatalities – that is an average of 3.3 injuries per race meeting
- There were 3967 race injuries.
- The fatalities and injuries numbers indicate that EVERY DAY in Victoria 10 greyhounds will be injured, and 2 are killed. Although lower than last year, it is not a result of industry actions but market forces.
Explaining these statistics
- GAP adoptions fell 15% compared to the previous financial year.
- “Adopted by trainers / rehoming groups” rose by 16%.- Note that “Adopted by non-GAP means that the dog was either:
sent to a rescue,
– adopted to a forever home by the trainer
– given to someone outside industry to be euthanised immediately ,
– dropped off to pound – and potentially euthanised if he/she fails the assessment (which most do). That’s in total. Dogs not euthanised by a vet are not included in these numbers (i.e. Dogs found dead in kennels aren’t counted among the death statistics).
The current FY years statistics in large part reflect the significant decrease in breeding that occurred following the live baiting exposure in 2015 and following the temporary ban in NSW, resulting in significantly less breeding in 2016/17.
At that time breeding dropped to 2655 per year.
There is also the fact that 40% of all dogs bred, fail to race and so exit the industry at 2 years of age.
This report boasts how breeding numbers have now increased to 4533 in part influenced by the government’s reintroduced breeding incentives. Yes, breeding incentives! Dogs are bred in excess because not all will run or chase. And then many will be killed.
The statistics reflect the undoubtable reality that trainers rely on unpaid volunteers to kill the dogs and the dogs are never recorded as killed. Upon signing over ownership to a non-industry person, the trainer creates a situation where the dog can be immediately killed and this is not recorded as a death by the industry.
GRV need to demonstrate that dogs aren’t being killed once they have been signed out of the industry. If transparency is something that GRV is really committed to, why not improve accountability? For example, why not ask the Australian Veterinary Association to require veterinarians to report every time a racing greyhound is euthanised and by who?
Race Fatalities and Injuries
Race fatalities are now up to 82 per year. That is 1.5 fatalities per week. NSW counts fatalities as dogs euthanised 3 months after injuries – GRV does not track this publicly. So how many are sent home with a shattered leg to be euthanised later so their death is not recorded as a race injury?
GRV has also started a greyhound recovery to encourage trainers to treat injuries rather than kill the injured dogs but there are no reported statistics on how many trainers have taken this offer up. Data from rescue groups indicate that it is the rescue groups that rehabilitate the greyhounds with broken legs – very few trainers do.
Have things improved for the greyhounds?
No. GRV has just become better at hiding deaths and injuries. It’s not about animal welfare, it’s about Impression Management. Nothing has changed for the welfare of the greyhound but deception has become more sophisticated.
Animal Welfare is a number one consideration. Really?
If only adopt 2631 dogs can be adopted (conservative figure since many untraced dogs very likely ended up being dumped in pounds and killed), how can an additional 1450 dogs be adopted next year when they reach 2 years of age and are among the 40% who don’t qualify for racing? And the following year, how will the 1888 be adopted?
Why is the government promoting breeding when the number of dogs is lowest at any time in history and even this lowest number cannot be homed?
Because profits trump animal welfare every time. A certain minimum number of dogs need to be bred so that there are sufficient dogs available to meet the race meeting number requirements. The industry cannot survive unless there are sufficient dogs to meet betting rule contracts. This was the MAIN reason that the NSW McHugh report recommended banning the industry. The death toll CANNOT BE AVOIDED if the industry is to survive.
Born to race and killed for not qualifying.
That’s greyhound racing!