Fegan fires off at the AVA for supporting Baird’s greyhound ban

LEADING Victorian greyhound veterinarian Dr Desmond Fegan has condemned the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) for backing the NSW State Government’s decision to ban greyhound racing.

The AVA is a professional organisation which represents veterinarians nationwide and has the vision of being the health and welfare leader in Australia’s animal industries, with one of the Association’s sub-branches being the Australian Greyhound Veterinarians Association (AGVA).

Despite many of its members working within the greyhound racing industry as on-track and specialist vets, the AVA released a statement last week declaring the peak body ‘supported the move by New South Wales to ban greyhound racing’ whilst also calling for the welfare of the dogs involved to be assured.

“There needs to be an adequate timeframe to appropriately phase out the industry while not compromising the welfare of the dogs. The veterinary profession is certainly willing to help these efforts and work with stakeholders,” said AVA spokesperson David Neck.

“We encourage families to consider rehoming a greyhound as they can make wonderful pets. No one wants to see greyhounds euthanased as a result of this decision, and we sincerely hope this can be avoided.”

However, Fegan said the AVA’s move to back the ban jeopardises the welfare of many greyhounds within the industry.

“It seems obvious to me that the Australian Veterinary Association have endorsed the move made by Mr Baird,” Fegan told Australian Racing Greyhound.

“I am led to believe that there was no consultation with its special interest group specifically for veterinarians interested in the racing greyhound (AGVA) before they made their announcement.

“I have now resigned from the AVA in protest, and feel their stance is tantamount to a death sentence for most of the racing greyhounds presently alive in New South Wales.”

Fegan said the Association’s approval was ill-informed, with little consideration for many good people within the sport, all whilst condoning the Premier’s stance that greyhounds were being ‘slaughtered’ by the industry.

“It also shows little understanding of the industry and its participants and all the associated enterprises that are heavily reliant on industry patronage to survive,” he said.

“I was particularly stung by their failure to rebuke Mr Baird for his inflammatory vocabulary, insinuating that greyhounds were “slaughtered” rather than humanely euthanised. It paints a picture of group of the uncivilised, doing the unthinkable, sanctioned by an uncaring profession.

“In reality many trainers have a number of their favourite dogs as pets earnestly try to get homes for all they can and I honestly believe not one of my clients has ever disposed of a dog in an inhumane way.

“There is no doubt that greyhound racing, like many areas of society, has its “bad eggs” and most people within the industry would like to see the back of them.

“However Justice McHugh’s report is blatantly biased and sets a standard for the greyhound industry that most other parts of society do not have to adhere to.

“The stance the AVA has taken means that it will have no choice but to condemn all forms of animal racing and most forms of farming. I wonder how their remaining members will react to that.”

Premier Mike Baird and Deputy Premier Troy Grant announced the ban on July 7, prior to the legislation going before parliament.

They have since faced heavy backlash from the media and wider community, with several state Nationals MPs speaking out in opposition.

While Baird is refusing to reconsider his stance, it is still unknown whether the government will have the numbers to pass the legislation which is set to appear before Parliament at the next meeting of the assembly on August 2.

Past Discussion

  1. All outta friends, huh?

    “It paints a picture of group of the uncivilised, doing the unthinkable, sanctioned by an uncaring profession.”


    I couldn’t have described this industry better, from the dogs perspective.

  2. Friends in NZ I have none, that’s about it for you. You have to try and seek relevance elsewhere, but sorry to say you have no friends here either.

  3. Another win for greyhounds today.  Im not sure why all of a sudden these people are crying that thousands of dogs will be put down?  How come?  Trainers and owners NEVER ever kill their dogs.. they keep saying so themselves…. they love their dogs.. they will find loving homes for all of them or keep them themselves like they have done in the past (<< right? because that’s where the missing tens of thousands of dogs are right now..) so of course they will .. because they would never, so callously and irresponsibly breed so many if they knew there were no homes available.. would they.. would they.. ? (eye roll)

  4. savingwilma   No one has ever said that owners and trainers NEVER kill their dogs both the horse and greyhound industries have admitted that they do. Dr Fegan is a vet not an owner and trainer. He has made no claims about loving his dogs. “These people” one  person Mrs Flintstone, a vet concerned about the current greyhounds. So your argument is that because some have already died lets just kill the rest is it? You can love an animal and because you can no longer afford to feed it  make a hard choice. The two are not  mutually exclusive. 

  5. AaronC_NZ  This is the most witty comment I have seen your write Aaron. Oh wait a minute some-one else wrote most of it. The vet.

  6. It’s pretty rich for this racing industry parasite to say the AVA’s position is “tantamount to a death sentence for most of the racing greyhounds presently alive in New South Wales.” The death sentence for those greyhounds was passed as soon as they were bred into an industry where more than 95% of them live for no more than 4 years. For many of those dogs, the ban on racing will come as a reprieve from that death sentence. It’s so sad that vets like Fegan will make slightly less money giving the death needle to thousands of greyhounds every year.

  7. JeffWhite4  There is nothing “rich” about it, it is the truth. So what’s your argument – “they would have died anyway so what does it matter if all the rest die-  like the dogs just born do not live for even four years ( one third of their lifespan) and many who would have lived longer- me and my mates do not really give a shit about greyhounds we just want to pretend to be morally superior so we can abuse racing people” . Every organism on the planet gets the death sentence including people- no-one gets out alive and only a very small percentage of organisms make it to maturity in any animal population. If you take the type of argument you are proposing to it’s frightening conclusion anyone is justified in killing anyone or anything “because they would have died anyway”. We do actually have people who justify their actions using this argument – they are referred to as sociopaths.

    The first comment from many people and not just racing people – has been ” but what happens to the dogs here already”.

    The number of dogs rehomed will be very small compared to those that will die because of the ban, but what does that matter me and my mates we don’t care about racing animals we just hate the people who race them and we want to “win” and prove how morally  superior we are to other people.

  8. Deborah555 JeffWhite4  exactly deb.

    the moralistic high ground by a few.

    generally occurs when one has  father figure,or shunned by the mum.

    escalates later in life like a child throwing a tantrum. didn’t get there way then,so behind the keyboard,i am a warrior. look at me type(roar)

  9. Deborah555 savingwilma   and like some of there latest attempts to defame the industry over and over,lets just keep up the old stories and run with those.

    deb,wasting your valuable time and precious person on these moralists.

    wonder if they live in glass houses?no one is perfect in this life,so just maybe,a bit of shame comes through for something did when younger!!!!

    wonder what it might of been?

  10. dogem53 Deborah555 JeffWhite4 I couldn’t stop laughing when I read your comment dogem53- Yes, I remember when I thought “just what are these stupid old farts doing about the world I could fix it.” Now that I am playing in the fourth quarter I am much more forgiving of my fellow human beings.

  11. dogem53 Deborah555 savingwilma   I am not going to change them nor do I want to- life will do that to them. I think I have stated before I normally just log on to this site for a read but now they want to take away something that brings passion and joy to so many and provides jobs and revenue – I think they can start being questioned- we let  what we thought we fringe idiots carry on without being questioned and now they have Baird the Brumby killer pandering to them. Anyway dogem53 I have a bit of time on my hands at the moment I can’t finish painting the shed because it is raining so it fills in my day.

  12. Deborah555 JeffWhite4 Is that the best you people can do? You can’t deal with what I actually say, so you have to make up other arguments, pretend that I made them, and then knock them down? Kindly google “straw-man argument”.

    “But what happens to the dogs here already?” is the question most often asked by people who never before gave a damn about what happened to thousands of unwanted dogs cast aside and killed by the racing industry, year after year, decade after decade, until somebody finally said “enough” and decided to put a stop to it. Then, suddenly, they come over all concerned for the welfare of the dogs. Now, if anyone has a responsibility to answer that question, it is the people who own those dogs — you know, the ones who are always telling us they “love their dogs”. It is they who are threatening their own dogs with mass destruction, not anyone else. But of course they carry on with their ingrained sense of entitlement to discard any dog who can’t make money for them, even though such an attitude would be roundly (and rightly) condemned in any other owners of dogs. Somehow it’s supposed to be my fault because you have no sense of responsibility toward your own dogs? 

    This attitude demonstrates perfectly why the racing industry needs to be shut down forever. Thanks for making our task so much easier!

  13. JeffWhite4 Deborah555  I know exactly what will happen to the dogs I currently have- they will stay with me to the end of their days just like my other dogs not just because I love them but much more importantly – I can afford to feed them. I am concerned about the dogs people cannot afford to feed without being able to race.

    I believe the anti racing crowd are hypocrites hiding behind “we care about animals” to force their own personal views on others.  Have you ever protested before or just recently now it has become trendy to condemn racing?

    Once again it is the usual emotional drama and exaggeration “it is the racing industry who is threatenting mass destruction”. I have yet to hear anyone make that comment and you accuse me of straw man arguments.

    I think you and people like you want to shut the industry down because you enjoy telling other people how to run their lives and have unmet needs generally about power, you just use “we love animals” to hide behind your hate of other people. You are deluding yourself if you think you are motivated by a concern for animals.

    You have stated your task is to shut down the racing industry forever- obviously- that is your only motive- not concern for animals and it also suggests a sort of well grandiosity. Who the hell do you think you are that you have the right to close down the entire racing industry? Arrogance and delusions of grandeur come to mind with that statement.

  14. Very well said Mr Des Fagen

    It would have been easier for you to not say anything. And to resign  from your association that you have probably  been in forever must have been hard. But you obviously are a man of great conviction that sticks with his principles. All power to you.

  15. Congratulations  Des, not only on your stance, but the fact you are a great greyhound vet.  You are one of a few that know and understand greyhound, and the industry.

    Thank you 

  16. JeffWhite4 just a typical brainwashed idiot that loves the sound of his own voice. How dare something like you refer to a great vet like Des, as a parasite. ..more like a self reflection one does think

  17. JeffWhite4 Deborah555 the greyhounds born this year will live for some the next 15 years  and race horses 20 years i wonder how many pets you and your mates go through  because they bark too much or keep escaping or not suitable