What are the RSPCA’s real motives?

DO you know the RSPCA balance sheet shows a total equity of $100 million, which includes cash, term deposits, a share portfolio and investment property. Last year it booked a surplus of $5.9 million after expenses of $46 million. A Fairfax report by Michael West suggests “as far as liquidity goes, this is the Sultan of Brunei of Australian charities”.

Elsewhere, it reports a NSW kill rate for dogs of 24%, considerably higher than in other states, and due mostly to what it called “behavioural” reasons.

No doubt the RSPCA does much fine work but figures like that indicate the big problem the community has in dealing with its animals – whether greyhounds or any other animal.

It does offer a little perspective for the many comments made by Special Commission lawyers about community “expectations”. These are always no more that assertions or personal opinions, not carefully researched findings, and should be treated as such.

Still on the RSPCA, its representative went to some trouble at the Commission to list what he thought were racing injury figures. However, he drew no conclusions nor did he call for any particular action. The speech served no other purpose than to show that some greyhounds suffer injuries when racing. This is hardly news as greyhounds are the athletes of the dog world, although undoubtedly in much better physical condition than the rest. Also undoubtedly, they would receive much better medical attention than other common breeds.

At no stage, either currently or during the course of the earlier Parliamentary Inquiry, has the RSPCA been able to come up with definitive, across-the-board data so all it is doing is moaning and groaning, while offering very few constructive suggestions. This is a waste of its latent power and influence. Far better for it to develop more comprehensive objectives, in conjunction with racing authorities, to further the cause of both the greyhound and the racing it enjoys. At face value, it purports to do this, yet all we hear are negative criticisms and put-downs, often poorly based. As a consequence, RSPCA sets itself up as the enemy rather than as a partner in greyhound racing – a fight which it will not win.

Too often we hear the view from the top that the RSPCA simply does not like greyhound racing. That is counter-productive for all parties and it is time it got over it. Certainly, greyhound racing has done the wrong thing in the past and will probably make mistakes in the future. But the critical thing is not so much the errors but what you do about them.

To digress a little, the RSPCA also opposes jumps races at the gallops, yet it is hard to recall a word it has ever said about cross country horse racing which is both an amateur and a professional sport with a large following here and around the world and a prime position at the Olympics. Arguably, the demanding cross country circuits are far riskier than a carefully supervised hurdle race. How inconsistent is that?

Breeding – over or under?

The story continues on a daily basis. On Sunday at Sale the two maiden events boasted only five and six starters. Two other Sale races and three at Sandown were also short of a full field. The night before, Wentworth Park had one short field but got away with it when five of the 10 races were drawn without reserves.

The Meadows topped its program (which had two short fields) with a Country (Shepparton) to City final over 725m which offered possibly the worst standard field ever seen in town. The winner ran 43.61, which was 24 lengths outside the record, and at its previous four starts had run 6th, 8th, 6th and 5th. Calling it a final was pretty ambitious as they ran only one heat at Shepparton and all eight starters got a go in town. Wentworth Park did little better as its two distance heat winners recorded only 42.85 and 42.94 (record 41.52).

Oh, for a sire of stayers!

Nevertheless, the longstanding shortage of starters and the opportunities offered to lower standard dogs makes a mockery of ill-considered claims about over-breeding. While there should be support for programs aimed at reducing breeding from low quality or aged animals the big picture shows that there is some equilibrium between the number of dogs and the number of races.

Absolutely, attention should be devoted to looking after unrequired dogs but to pin down so-called “wastage” problems to overbreeding is to miss the mark completely.

Slow learners

Sadly, promising youngster Allen Phanto came to grief on the first turn at The Meadows last Saturday. A broken tibia and fibula caused it to be euthanased at the track.

More worryingly, it immediately went into the FastTrack-GRV records as “Retired”, thereby distorting future data summaries. So quickly did this happen that it seems GRV computers are pre-programmed to change the classifications. This equates to the instructions to NSW stewards to omit trackside deaths from their meeting reports – something which was heavily criticised by all and sundry at the Special Commission, include the GRNSW CEO.

We noted a similar incident some weeks back after a death at a Sandown meeting.

The cause of the accident at The Meadows was a squeeze towards the inside as the field went past the judge the first time. Allen Phanto was the meat in the sandwich. Luck played a part, of course, but that symptom is typical of The Meadows track where runners have to perform brilliantly to get across from outside boxes as the bunny disappears around the tight turn. (Which is why outside boxes provide fewer winners than other circle tracks. Richmond has a similar problem but for a different reason. These are design problems).

All of which is one of the reasons why greyhounds statistics are so unreliable.

The global gambling market

Tabcorp is going international after signing up with Rupert Murdochs’s UK tabloid The Sun to create an online betting firm dedicated to sports and racing betting. The venture is called Sun Bets and will start up in 2016. The Sun will promote the venture as well as its existing bingo competitions.

Curiously, its opposition will be firms which now also operate in Australia but which have headquarters off shore in places like Gibraltar and Malta in order to avoid high British taxes.

Murdoch papers in Australia are already beneficiaries of big pay cheques from Tabcorp and Ubet for the provision of formguides.

Sign-up with Bet365 and claim up to $200 in bonus bets.

Past Discussion

  1. Hugh_ PhillipMarkou  he openly admitted to not knowing the figures and that he made them up and lied…yet he still has his job even when credibility is questioned…grey2kusa spread a lot of money around while here on their “fact finding mission”

  2. Hugh_ PhillipMarkou  he openly admitted to not knowing the figures and that he made them up and lied…yet he still has his job even when credibility is questioned…grey2kusa spread a lot of money around while here on their “fact finding mission”

  3. Hugh_ PhillipMarkou  where is your source racing has a overbreeding problem???? and also animal abuse is widespread??? show me your proof and source for all these claims made by idiots like you that have no idea and just followed blindly like sheep….

  4. Hugh_ PhillipMarkou  where is your source racing has a overbreeding problem???? and also animal abuse is widespread??? show me your proof and source for all these claims made by idiots like you that have no idea and just followed blindly like sheep….

  5. Hugh_ PhillipMarkou  rspca claim to receive 30k cases about animal abuse 50% relate to dogs/….out of that 1-2% are from the greyhound breed…so pet owners cause more animal abuse than racing folk…so the focus should be on pet owners not racing people…on these stats from the rspca you pet owners would be best to drop off your dogs to the rspca and let a greyhound racing person look after them properly.

  6. Hugh_ PhillipMarkou  rspca claim to receive 30k cases about animal abuse 50% relate to dogs/….out of that 1-2% are from the greyhound breed…so pet owners cause more animal abuse than racing folk…so the focus should be on pet owners not racing people…on these stats from the rspca you pet owners would be best to drop off your dogs to the rspca and let a greyhound racing person look after them properly.

  7. PhillipMarkou Hugh_ I didn’t make that claim so why are you asking me for a source?

    I’ve argued largely about principles, where I have made a specific claim, if you want a source, ask for it, but you’ll have to address a claim I actually made, not one I haven’t.

    You call me a sheep and accuse me of blindly believing the media.  Where have I parroted some unsubstantiated media claim?  You’re accusing me of this because I don’t just accept the claims you make? Do you honestly consider yourself a credible source?  An anonymous person on a forum making grandiose claims about having proof (but not providing it), making accusations of bribery which are apparently “common sense”, and generally behaving like a ranting child.  Please…

    Calm yourself down, and realize how you sound.

    As I’ve said before, if you have some “proof” then I would love to see it.  Until then it’s all conjecture, surely even you realise this.

  8. PhillipMarkou Hugh_ I didn’t make that claim so why are you asking me for a source?

    I’ve argued largely about principles, where I have made a specific claim, if you want a source, ask for it, but you’ll have to address a claim I actually made, not one I haven’t.

    You call me a sheep and accuse me of blindly believing the media.  Where have I parroted some unsubstantiated media claim?  You’re accusing me of this because I don’t just accept the claims you make? Do you honestly consider yourself a credible source?  An anonymous person on a forum making grandiose claims about having proof (but not providing it), making accusations of bribery which are apparently “common sense”, and generally behaving like a ranting child.  Please…

    Calm yourself down, and realize how you sound.

    As I’ve said before, if you have some “proof” then I would love to see it.  Until then it’s all conjecture, surely even you realise this.

  9. John Tracey Hugh_ Dezzey  if AA think this way about Asian countries are they bringing all the dogs back from macau to Australia…the bloke rehoming dogs in macau are they going to take his greys off him and ship them back to oz…where good Australian people would look after them……lol AA is being racist and discriminating against Asian people..and silly QANTAS wants to step in the middle…big mistake QANTAS..

  10. John Tracey Hugh_ Dezzey  if AA think this way about Asian countries are they bringing all the dogs back from macau to Australia…the bloke rehoming dogs in macau are they going to take his greys off him and ship them back to oz…where good Australian people would look after them……lol AA is being racist and discriminating against Asian people..and silly QANTAS wants to step in the middle…big mistake QANTAS..

  11. Hugh_ John Tracey Dezzey  that is because your head is so far up your own ass it cant actually think logically….I will never be racist and discriminate against people of this world like you do….you think your superior to other nations and its people….what make you so special hugh……oh my last words to you because I can tell its a waste of time……………..I AM RIGHT.

  12. Hugh_ John Tracey Dezzey  that is because your head is so far up your own ass it cant actually think logically….I will never be racist and discriminate against people of this world like you do….you think your superior to other nations and its people….what make you so special hugh……oh my last words to you because I can tell its a waste of time……………..I AM RIGHT.

  13. PhillipMarkou Hugh_ Ok sure, lets talk about that.

    Firstly, can you please provide the link to the video?  Until I can only respond to some of what you say:

    Firstly, the idea that because a given animal species is eaten in a country means that every animal of that species that is killed will be used for food is a logical fallacy.  One doesn’t necessarily follow from the other.  It would depend on whether the people involved had the time to create a meat supply side business, if it was economically viable, and if they were inclined to do so.  Do you have information regarding that?  So it doesn’t prove anything.  Maybe greyhounds that have been racing for years have tough meat, who knows.  There are many explanations for why they might not be sold to restaurants/supermarkets.

    Secondly, no it’s not suss that an investigator would be participating in the euthanising.  Undercover investigators generally obtain their footage by being hired to do a job in the industry they are infiltrating and seeking to expose.  That’s what it means to be an undercover investigator.  They often have to participate in the very acts they are seeking to expose.  How else would they maintain their cover long enough to capture footage of cruelty?  It’s an extremely traumatic thing for someone that cares about animals to have to do, but that’s what it takes sometimes to expose these practices.

    So your arguments are simplistic and not well thought out.

    If you can demonstrate that the video is not what they claim, then I will be the first to write a letter/email to AA demanding an explanation.  But you’ve not done that yet.

    The claims that need to be addressed are that the video was taken at a different time, and a different location to what AA claimed in the 7:30 report.  Please provide the youtube link you speak of.

  14. PhillipMarkou Hugh_ Ok sure, lets talk about that.

    Firstly, can you please provide the link to the video?  Until I can only respond to some of what you say:

    Firstly, the idea that because a given animal species is eaten in a country means that every animal of that species that is killed will be used for food is a logical fallacy.  One doesn’t necessarily follow from the other.  It would depend on whether the people involved had the time to create a meat supply side business, if it was economically viable, and if they were inclined to do so.  Do you have information regarding that?  So it doesn’t prove anything.  Maybe greyhounds that have been racing for years have tough meat, who knows.  There are many explanations for why they might not be sold to restaurants/supermarkets.

    Secondly, no it’s not suss that an investigator would be participating in the euthanising.  Undercover investigators generally obtain their footage by being hired to do a job in the industry they are infiltrating and seeking to expose.  That’s what it means to be an undercover investigator.  They often have to participate in the very acts they are seeking to expose.  How else would they maintain their cover long enough to capture footage of cruelty?  It’s an extremely traumatic thing for someone that cares about animals to have to do, but that’s what it takes sometimes to expose these practices.

    So your arguments are simplistic and not well thought out.

    If you can demonstrate that the video is not what they claim, then I will be the first to write a letter/email to AA demanding an explanation.  But you’ve not done that yet.

    The claims that need to be addressed are that the video was taken at a different time, and a different location to what AA claimed in the 7:30 report.  Please provide the youtube link you speak of.

  15. Hugh_ John Tracey Dezzey On the Submission of an Experts’ Proposal to the Standing
    Committee of the National People’s Congress to Pass a
    ‘Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Law’
    Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress: The point you are making on the proposal and you are right the article is critical of the lack of cruelty to animal regulations contained in the protection act. My disagreement with you is that you are discounting the expert proposal which is an evolvement from the proposals to congress in 2008 and then 2009. In the older cultures things advance through proposals and move slowly it is very significant that these proposal get to the conference. The prevention of cruelty to animals act followed acts on the freedom of slaves and was operational in NSW at the beginning of the twentieth century. The act was originally written to protect animals in captivity and used for experiments brought on by the Darwin Era. A hundred years later the ICAC inquiry into greyhounds found potential criminal breeches in dogs being used for animal profiling and this went unreported. Some States of Australia had until recently no protection for pests, feral animals etc.

  16. Hugh_ John Tracey Dezzey On the Submission of an Experts’ Proposal to the StandingCommittee of the National People’s Congress to Pass a‘Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Law’Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress: The point you are making on the proposal and you are right the article is critical of the lack of cruelty to animal regulations contained in the protection act. My disagreement with you is that you are discounting the expert proposal which is an evolvement from the proposals to congress in 2008 and then 2009. In the older cultures things advance through proposals and move slowly it is very significant that these proposal get to the conference. The prevention of cruelty to animals act followed acts on the freedom of slaves and was operational in NSW at the beginning of the twentieth century. The act was originally written to protect animals in captivity and used for experiments brought on by the Darwin Era. A hundred years later the ICAC inquiry into greyhounds found potential criminal breeches in dogs being used for animal profiling and this went unreported. Some States of Australia had until recently no protection for pests, feral animals etc. 

  17. Darryl Hancock Hugh_ BarbaraWindsor PhillipMarkou Can you please provide a source for this 3000 you claim.  I’m not trying to cast doubt, I just want to know where the information comes from.  I’m perfectly open to the possibility that this figure of 17000 or 18000 is false.  But at least we know what the source of that information is:  An internal GA memo.  What source are you drawing from for your alternative figure?  Please share.

  18. Darryl Hancock Hugh_ BarbaraWindsor PhillipMarkou Can you please provide a source for this 3000 you claim.  I’m not trying to cast doubt, I just want to know where the information comes from.  I’m perfectly open to the possibility that this figure of 17000 or 18000 is false.  But at least we know what the source of that information is:  An internal GA memo.  What source are you drawing from for your alternative figure?  Please share.

  19. John Tracey Hugh_ Dezzey John I’m not really sure what you’re saying to be honest.  I understand that progress is happening, I understand that these things take time, but I disagree with an ongoing live export industry to places where the welfare laws are not YET up to our standards.

    “My take is that to achieve improvements in animal welfare it is better for the greyhounds to include Asia in the international greyhound family and work through the forums and trade agreement’s like the wider thrust involving trade agreements and welfare rights generally.”

    Perhaps I misunderstood your original comment, but I took this to mean that you advocate an ongoing export relationship with these countries.  I agree with that only if local welfare laws are sufficient, or if the trade agreement somehow allows enforcement of higher welfare standards than what is covered by the current local laws, though I have little faith in the later option given the failure of ESCAS in the live cattle export industry.  Since neither of these things is currently true, my stance remains unchanged.

  20. John Tracey Hugh_ Dezzey John I’m not really sure what you’re saying to be honest.  I understand that progress is happening, I understand that these things take time, but I disagree with an ongoing live export industry to places where the welfare laws are not YET up to our standards.

    My take is that to achieve improvements in animal welfare it is better for the greyhounds to include Asia in the international greyhound family and work through the forums and trade agreement’s like the wider thrust involving trade agreements and welfare rights generally.”


    Perhaps I misunderstood your original comment, but I took this to mean that you advocate an ongoing export relationship with these countries.  I agree with that only if local welfare laws are sufficient, or if the trade agreement somehow allows enforcement of higher welfare standards than what is covered by the current local laws, though I have little faith in the latter option given the failure of ESCAS in the live cattle export industry.  Since neither of these things is currently true, my stance remains unchanged.

  21. Hugh_ John Tracey Dezzey My take is that the Asian countries that have greyhounds should return as a part of the international conference of Greyhounds which was the situation with GA when it was a secretariat for the greyhound regulatory boards in conference up to (2003) and beyond. It is noted that the Australian Federal Government recognises these countries as being eligible to take Australian live animal exports. Companion dogs are passed subject to various conditions and these dogs make up expensive pure bred dogs other than greyhounds as well and dogs travelling with passengers returning to China or taking their companions on holidays or during longer stays away. Greyhounds that want a clearance from Australia to race in Asia need an additional “passport” which would determine if the dog could continue racing under reciprocity.The above is a problem as there is no binding two way agreement between GA and Asian Authorities. Australian prevention of cruelty to animals acts are amongst the strictest in the world so animal exports to most countries would be banned under your stance. I would prefer all countries racing greyhounds to be in the family tent and sanctions applied to members if necessary.

  22. Hugh_ John Tracey Dezzey My take is that the Asian countries that have greyhounds should return as a part of the international conference of Greyhounds which was the situation with GA when it was a secretariat for the greyhound regulatory boards in conference up to (2003) and beyond. It is noted that the Australian Federal Government recognises these countries as being eligible to take Australian live animal exports. Companion dogs are passed subject to various conditions and these dogs make up expensive pure bred dogs other than greyhounds as well and dogs travelling with passengers returning to China or taking their companions on holidays or during longer stays away. Greyhounds that want a clearance from Australia to race in Asia need an additional “passport” which would determine if the dog could continue racing under reciprocity.The above is a problem as there is no binding two way agreement between GA and Asian Authorities. Australian prevention of cruelty to animals acts are amongst the strictest in the world so animal exports to most countries would be banned under your stance. I would prefer all countries racing greyhounds to be in the family tent and sanctions applied to members if necessary.

  23. John Tracey Hugh_ Dezzey Well, I agree that what you prefer would be an improvement.

    As for my stance, yes, it would mean that, and I would very much like to see an end to many of our live export industries, I don’t reserve this opinion for greyhounds.  It’s a much larger problem with food animals, and it’s clear that what guidelines have been put in place to try and address this are inadequate and tokenistic, with zero penalties for breaches.

  24. John Tracey Hugh_ Dezzey Well, I agree that what you prefer would be an improvement.

    As for my stance, yes, it would mean that, and I would very much like to see an end to many of our live export industries, I don’t reserve this opinion for greyhounds.  It’s a much larger problem with food animals, and it’s clear that what guidelines have been put in place to try and address this are inadequate and tokenistic, with zero penalties for breaches.