Animal activists campaign to ban dog racing in Victoria

The calls come despite a massive reduction in on-track incidents and a successful rehoming program giving retired greyhounds life after racing.

Animal activists campaign to ban dog racing in Victoria
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Animal rights activists are demanding an end to “deadly” greyhound racing despite the industry claiming a 50 per cent reduction in on track deaths over the past three years.

Newly elected Animal Justice Party MP Georgie Purcell announced this week she would petition the Victorian government to establish an inquiry into “greyhound carnage” when state parliament returns next month.

She said the deaths of two dogs at a racetrack in Broadmeadows last week highlighted the dangers of the sport.

According to the Herald Sun, 167 dogs died Australia wide last year while almost 3300 dogs had been injured.

A Coalition for the Protection of Greyhounds spokeswoman said the number of deaths demonstrated that despite improvements to tracks, greyhound racing was still dangerous to animals.

“All forms of greyhound racing are dangerous, no matter what the greyhound racing PR machine says,” she said. 

She said dogs often died from treatable injuries such as broken legs because the “barbaric” industry didn’t want to spend money on dogs that might not compete again.

“These dogs are nothing better than a commodity to the industry,” she said. 

Purcell agreed, arguing that Victoria should ban the sport.

“I firmly believe that the industry has no place in Victoria, and am determined to make that case to the government,” she said. 

A Greyhound Racing Victoria spokesman said there has been a 50 per cent reduction in racetrack deaths over the past three years and nearly 3000 former racing dogs had been rehomed in 2021/22.

“Rigorous processes, systems and rules are in place to prevent unnecessary euthanasia, with euthanasia of a racing greyhound only permitted for severe health or behavioural issues,” he said.

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  • By Avi Yemini

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