For the record: NSW greyhound racing industry is not meeting its rehoming targets

Image source: Farm Transparency Project

A new CPG white paper provides the first insight into how industry rehomers (GAPs) are performing compared to community-run rescues.

The research shows just how badly the NSW racing industry is failing to meet its responsibility for rehoming greyhounds.

In an article published by Guardian Australia on 20 October 2021, Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) rejected CPG’s findings saying that FY20/21 had been a “record year for rehoming”.

It all depends on how you define rehoming

The GRNSW definition of rehoming is very broad and unlikely to be accepted by people not involved with the racing industry. The chart below shows that in FY19/20 over half of the 1405 dogs ‘rehomed’ were either kept, or given away privately, by their owners.

Greyhounds rehomed in FY19/20

GAP NSW only accepted 246 dogs in FY19/20, despite a $3.4M budget. By contrast, NSW’s community-run rescues accepted 373 dogs while relying on donations and volunteer efforts alone.

GAP NSW also has a very high kill-rate, second only to QLD, euthanising just over one in 10 greyhounds they accept for rehoming.

The dreadful ‘wastage’ caused by over-breeding

The greyhound industry depends on wastage – the over-breeding of dogs to ensure that a proportion will run fast enough to be commercially useful. 

Andy Meddick MP, Animal Justice Party, Victoria

The CPG white paper reported that greyhound breeding nationally is six times the GAPs’ capacity to rehome. GRNSW responded by saying that “the number of greyhounds bred in NSW over the past five years was down 15,537 compared with the five previous years”.

There was a major decrease in breeding between FY14/15 and FY16/17. This was due to public pressure over the live baiting exposé and inquiries into the “systemic animal cruelty” associated with the greyhound racing industry. However, breeding is now on the increase with 4,662 greyhounds bred in FY20/21, a 52% increase since 2016/17. 

The industry continues to breed too many greyhounds to ensure that a proportion will run fast enough to be commercially useful. This leads to ‘uncompetitive’ greyhound puppies being discarded by the industry. Two recommendations to address this issue were made by the Greyhound Industry Reform Panel and accepted by the NSW state government in May 2018:

  • Owners should be required to pay an upfront ‘puppy bond’ that is transferable with ownership. GRNSW themselves argued that such a bond is an essential measure to control breeding and reduce “wastage”
  • Ensure that breeders are made responsible for the welfare of each puppy until ownership is transferred.

Neither of these recommendations has been implemented by the NSW state government as at October 2021.

Why you’re probably more likely to spot a unicorn than a greyhound puppy

GRNSW stated that the “utilisation rate of dogs bred for racing had increased to 75%“. This isn’t a figure to be proud of. It demonstrates that 25% of greyhound puppies never reach the racetrack. They are discarded by the industry who refer to them as “initial wastage”. There are no records available to the public on what happens to these puppies.

The other 75% of puppies are seen as ready to be “utilised” as racing product and funnelled into the gambling industry.

There’s a reason that if greyhound puppies are seen in the wider community they are referred to as ‘unicorns’, they are certainly as rare.

2 thoughts on “For the record: NSW greyhound racing industry is not meeting its rehoming targets

Add yours

  1. I sincerely hope that something really bad happens to all the people involved in racing industry! All the pain and misery they cause to thousands upon thousands of these gentle poor animals is beyond any justification! They should not be even called a “person” but have a “greedy cruel bastard” on their ID!


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