ALMOST 500 greyhounds were euthanised in South Australia throughout 2015, according to figures released by Greyhound Racing SA (GRSA) on Wednesday.
The statistics were released as the SA Upper House prepares to vote on a motion put forward by Greens MLC Tammy Franks which would see the establishment of an inquiry into greyhound racing within the state.
According to the figures, 482 greyhounds were put down in 2015-2016, while 639 were re-homed through adoption programs. The authority body expects a total of 775 to be re-homed this year.
Of those 482 euthanised, GRSA CEO Matt Corby said some cases were due to medical or behavioural issues which prevent GRSA from responsibly re-homing them.
However, he re-iterated eradicating the unnecessary euthanasia of healthy dogs remains the primary concern of the industry.
“What we have to eliminate is avoidable death because someone says it’s convenient,” Corby told News Corp.
“Based on our current trajectory, we’ll be the first to get to a point by the middle of 2018 that we can say we’ve eliminated unnecessary euthanasia.”
Corby said no racing code in any other state spends a higher percentage of its annual revenue than GRSA on its animal welfare and re-homing projects and outlined the controlling body is committed to continuing to do so into the future.
“We will invest more than $1 million annually in support of our Greyhound Adoption Program, with our target of 450 greyhound adoptions in the current year being supported by eight permanent staff, two prison foster care programs and a small army of dedicated volunteer foster carers behind the scenes.”
“In the coming six months, all registered participants will undergo Certificate II training as a condition of ongoing licensing.”
The figures also indicated a predicted reduction in the amount of greyhounds being euthanised in 2017-2018, with the number expected to be around 310.
It is currently compulsory for all registered participants to submit a retirement notification to GRSA when a greyhound finishes its career, while GRSA also require any euthanasia to be conducted by a qualified vet using a humane injection.
Corby said the SA industry would be happy to co-operate with an inquiry if the motion is passed.