RSPCA calls for significant changes at Tasmanian greyhound racing inquiry

The RSPCA will today appear before the Joint Select Committee Inquiry into Greyhound Racing in Tasmania calling for urgent action to prevent animal cruelty in the Tasmanian greyhound racing industry.

After systemic cruelty and live baiting was revealed in Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales on Four Corners in early 2015, the RSPCA believes it would be naïve to think it was not happening in Tasmania.

“Today we will be urging the Tasmanian government to take swift action and implement a suite of measures to effectively address extensive animal welfare problems associated with greyhound racing in Tasmania,” said Dr Jade Norris, Scientific Officer RSPCA Australia.

The RSPCA believes there are sixteen areas of serious animal welfare concern with the greyhound racing industry including:

1. Significant overbreeding and high wastage rates
2. High euthanasia rates and low rehoming rates
3. Injuries suffered by greyhounds
4. Lack of industry transparency and accountability
5. Insufficient socialisation of greyhounds
6. Inadequate housing conditions and lack of environmental enrichment
7. Enforceable standards for greyhounds
8. Licensing and Inspection regime
9. Education of participants
10. Extending the racing career of greyhounds
11. Administration of illicit drugs and other banned substances
12. Illegal live baiting
13. Use of animal skin lures
14. The welfare of greyhounds in the possession of disqualified owner/trainer
15. Export of Australian greyhounds
16. Elements of self-regulation in the current framework

“It is vital that this Inquiry raises the bar by providing the highest level of protection to greyhounds and other animals nationally to meet increasing community expectations about the treatment of greyhounds,” said Dr Norris.

The RSPCA‚Äôs full submission including recommendations can be viewed here - http://www.parliament.tas.gov.au/ctee/Joint/Greyhound.htm.