Greyhounds killed if they don’t perform

ABC AM with Tony Eastley; Timothy McDonald; Friday, November 9, 2012

TONY EASTLEY: Tonight at venues around the country greyhounds will jump from their starting boxes and race around a track as money is wagered on which is the fastest animal.

Winners will be applauded and rewarded. There’ll be a good feed and a warm bed afterwards.

However for some of the dogs who are disappointing it might be the end of the road.

Greyhound racing’s governing body now admits 3,000 dogs are put down every year in New South Wales alone. Animal welfare groups are appalled.

Timothy McDonald reports.

(Sound of a dog race being called)

TIMOTHY MCDONALD: On almost any day of the year you’ll find greyhounds bursting from the boxes and tearing around a track while punters try to pick a winner.

And most trainers will tell you they love their dogs.

DOG OWNER: Oh look at this, they’re the greatest, softest babies you’d ever want to see.

TIMOTHY MCDONALD: But there’s another side to the sport. For every champion that crosses the finish line at Wentworth Park there are many dogs that never even make it to the track.

The sport’s governing body Greyhound Racing New South Wales admits a very large number of dogs are put down each year.

Brent Hogan is the CEO.

BRENT HOGAN: We believe that the number is somewhere around 3,000 greyhounds per year. That’s a number that we understand is too high and it’s a number that we’re working towards bringing down through those initiatives around responsible breeding, our re-homing programs and the education initiatives that we’re rolling out with our participants.

TIMOTHY MCDONALD: The Animal Welfare League says all too often dogs are put down because they’re not fast enough and they’re not making any money.

Tim Vasudeva is the CEO.

TIM VASUDEVA: Killing that dog is not euthanasia; it’s just killing it because you bred too many and of the six that you just bred one of them is a good racer, one of them might make it and the other four are no good. That is not euthanasia, that is just killing dogs.

(Sound of a dog race being called)

TIMOTHY MCDONALD: Ted Humphries was a on-track vet at Wentworth Park. His clients still include many trainers, owners and breeders.

He shows me around the kennels behind his clinic in Sydney’s west.

TED HUMPHRIES: These are a couple of young greyhounds that have been boarded here and they are just getting ready to go out racing.

TIMOTHY MCDONALD: They’re very happy looking.

TED HUMPHRIES: Oh, (laughs) one thing about greyhounds, they’re always happy.

TIMOTHY MCDONALD: But life as a greyhound can be very cruel.

Ted Humphries puts down four a week, often to spare them from an even worse fate.

TED HUMPHRIES: If we don’t humanely euthanase them then they’ll often inhumanely euthanase them by shooting, hanging, gassing, drowning – any manner of alternative death methods can be used if these people get desperate. I think hammers occasionally have been incriminated as being a way of destroying an  animal.

TIMOTHY MCDONALD: And have you heard of that kind of thing  happen?

TED HUMPHRIES: Oh I’m sure. I’ve not really heard about it; I’ve first-hand experience of it. It happens allright.

TONY EASTLEY: And you can hear Timothy McDonald’s full report on Background Briefing straight after the 8 o’clock news, Sunday Morning on RN.

Original here



Filed under Greyhounds

3 responses to “Greyhounds killed if they don’t perform

  1. Val

    Greyhound racing is cruel and inhumane. The greyhounds live in sometimes squalid conditions, and when let out to race, they suffer and die from injuries such as broken limbs, broken necks, paralysis, and cardiac arrest. The greyhounds are short-term investments, valued only as long as they generate a profit for their owners.Their post-racing fate falls to volunteer adoption groups that work tirelessly to adopt retired greyhounds into loving homes.
    For more information on injuries these dogs suffer, please view:

    Dogs play an important role in our lives and deserve to be protected from industries and individuals that do them harm.

    VWolf Board Member, GREY2K USA

  2. So much for the ‘ glamour’ of racing

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