Time for a fresh start: ARG responds to live-baiting crisis

MAKE no mistake, greyhound racing in Australia is teetering on the brink of destruction.

The calls for an end to greyhound racing are coming from far and wide in the aftermath of the Four Corners expose originating from Animal Liberation Queensland’s efforts.

Over the past eight years of Australian Racing Greyhound, we have observed, heard and frequently been on the end of abuse and “requests” to stop the sport.

In the past two years those voices have grown louder and the support base has spread from the fanatical animal welfare “professionals” to those further from the fringes.

In the past 12 hours, those voices have been joined by many sensible, reasonable-thinking Australians who have quickly taken to social media to express their outrage – and justifiably so.

What was shown on Monday night in the living rooms of Australia is indefensible.

There are no words which can placate those assaulted by the images or mitigate the reactions to the vision.

Greyhound racing has reached a crossroad – it can continue on in a whole new form with new leadership and a new set of values; or it can go the way so many have before it.

To survive, greyhound racing will require strong, transparent leadership with a strong focus on integrity and welfare – we do not have that currently. It could be argued all racing codes suffer this dilemma, and recent fiascos in AFL and NRL demonstrate integrity is not an issue reserved for the racing codes, but greyhound racing has suffered from a terminal lack of “backbone” from its leaders who are all too happy to hide behind “incidents” and “ongoing investigations” than to put forward the brutal truth.

In the lead-up to the most destructive media event of the year, our leaders seemed to be more concerned with controlling the message than providing that transparency. It was difficult to extract comment from GRV, and the fact we are the only independent media organisation devoted to the coverage of Australian greyhound racing online should not be lost in the noise. This is the same group of people who invited the ABC journalists in on the pretence they were doing a positive story on increasing popularity and TAB turnover in the sport. The words naïve and inept come to mind.

Due in no small part to the short-sighted dealings of the Greyhound Action Group in New South Wales, who got into bed with the Greens and animal welfare groups to get its facile NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into the sport off the ground last year, the bright light of the animal welfare and anti-racing groups was already shining on greyhound racing. After Monday night, that spotlight has turned supernova and includes many who the sport may have considered allies. The heartland of greyhound support, the blue- and white-collar families of suburbia, have turned on the sport in numbers; and the horse racing crowd and their high-profile names have lent their support to calls to ban the sport.

Clearly greyhound racing is on the wrong path; the vast and overwhelming venom and disgust for the sport are palpable.

Swift, dramatic and conclusive changes must take place, and they must take place immediately.

Those who led us here, whether through ignorance or apathy, must be removed for there to be any hope that confidence in the sport will return.

Australian Racing Greyhound is calling for the chairs of the three boards concerned – Greyhound Racing Victoria, Greyhound Racing New South Wales and Racing Queensland – to stand down or be removed at once.

Australian Racing Greyhound is calling for the chief executive officers of the three racing authorities concerned – Greyhound Racing Victoria, Greyhound Racing New South Wales and Racing Queensland – to stand down or be removed.

Australian Racing Greyhound is calling for the chief stewards of the three authorities concerned – Greyhound Racing Victoria, Greyhound Racing New South Wales and Racing Queensland – to stand down or be removed.

Australian Racing Greyhound is calling for life bans for those identified in the vision as perpetuating these acts of extreme animal abuse.

Australian Racing Greyhound is calling for an end to the revolving door of suspensions and disqualifications being subverted by authorising the transfer of greyhounds from the offending trainer to their spouse.

Only clear and decisive actions such as these will even partially restore faith that our authorities can properly administer the sport.

Australian Racing Greyhound fears it is too late.

Past Discussion

  1. Thanks for the update.
    What has happened to the dogs belonging to these mongrels? I know in Queensland they have been seized.
    I’m concerned that they are now not making money for these bludgers that their health and welfare is a risk.
    I have asked RSPCA what is happening with them but they just send me on to the state greyhound authorities, which at this point is useless.
    Are there reputable people in the industry that can care for them?

  2. Thanks for the update.

    What has happened to the dogs belonging to these mongrels? I know in Queensland they have been seized.

    I’m concerned that they are now not making money for these bludgers that their health and welfare is a risk.

    I have asked RSPCA what is happening with them but they just send me on to the state greyhound authorities, which at this point is useless.

    Are there reputable people in the industry that can care for them?

  3. Retired grey I have been told that in Qld the RSPCA are boarding the dogs for Racing Queensland. This is not happening in Victoria, although GRV stewards are closely monitoring the welfare of all of the greyhounds while the process is being worked through. I think you can rest assured the welfare of the greyhounds is at the top of the list in all states right now.

  4. Retired grey I have been told that in Qld the RSPCA are boarding the dogs for Racing Queensland. This is not happening in Victoria, although GRV stewards are closely monitoring the welfare of all of the greyhounds while the process is being worked through. I think you can rest assured the welfare of the greyhounds is at the top of the list in all states right now.

  5. Roger, thank you for the update. I see that the Greyhound Racing Act 2009 is open until March 2 for comment.
    I would strongly advise anyone concerned about the recent revelations gets onto the web site and make their voices heard.
    There is only a short paragraph at the end of the long document about animal welfare. They are saying that there is enough regulation under the cruelty to animals act and that the RSPCA and police have powers under this act.
    Of course the RSPCA and police are both under staffed and resourced. Perhaps monies gained from gambling should be funnelled into these bodies so that more independent inspections can be made. Inspections should be WITHOUT notice and at any time.
    If you have nothing to hide then you should be happy for this arrangement.

  6. Roger, thank you for the update. I see that the Greyhound Racing Act 2009 is open until March 2 for comment.

    I would strongly advise anyone concerned about the recent revelations gets onto the web site and make their voices heard.

    There is only a short paragraph at the end of the long document about animal welfare. They are saying that there is enough regulation under the cruelty to animals act and that the RSPCA and police have powers under this act.

    Of course the RSPCA and police are both under staffed and resourced. Perhaps monies gained from gambling should be funnelled into these bodies so that more independent inspections can be made. Inspections should be WITHOUT notice and at any time.

    If you have nothing to hide then you should be happy for this arrangement.

  7. Retired grey Hi there, Thanks for your concern. There are several ‘non kill’ rescue groups like ourselves that have been asked to foster these dogs so that they will be safe.  I work for Friends of the Hound and we are trying hard to get some extra foster carers help cope with what may be a deluge of dogs. As I understand it these dogs must be kept safe until any pending court cases are over, and then hopefully they will be rehomed.  The cost to our non funded group will be enormous so any help or donations would be very helpful in the coming months.  It would be wonderful if all of the companies that have now dropped out of sponsoring the Industry, could start sponsoring us instead.

  8. Retired grey Hi there, Thanks for your concern. There are several ‘non kill’ rescue groups like ourselves that have been asked to foster these dogs so that they will be safe.  I work for Friends of the Hound and we are trying hard to get some extra foster carers help cope with what may be a deluge of dogs. As I understand it these dogs must be kept safe until any pending court cases are over, and then hopefully they will be rehomed.  The cost to our non funded group will be enormous so any help or donations would be very helpful in the coming months.  It would be wonderful if all of the companies that have now dropped out of sponsoring the Industry, could start sponsoring us instead. 

  9. Roger Clark Retired grey If the RSPCA are under-resourced and need more money, then I suggest the people responsible for live baiting have all their money and assets confliscated without compensation and have it all donated to the RSPCA and the police

  10. Roger Clark Retired grey If the RSPCA are under-resourced and need more money, then I suggest the people responsible for live baiting have all their money and assets confliscated without compensation and have it all donated to the RSPCA and the police

  11. Retired grey As I said the dogs are being dispersed though breed specific rescues like Friends of the Hound, these rescues are not funded by anyone except themselves.  The RSPCA, do a great job but have massive funding from various sources, and cannot keep these dogs long term.  The dogs may be in foster for a long time as there are cases pending. It’s the independent greyhound specific rescues are the ones that need the money and hopefully someone will see that we are picking up the pieces of this mess.  As you rightly say, that these mongrels have created.  We are very reputable and have a very high success rate (better than GAP who are funded but the racing industry) at re homing Greyhounds..

  12. Retired grey As I said the dogs are being dispersed though breed specific rescues like Friends of the Hound, these rescues are not funded by anyone except themselves.  The RSPCA, do a great job but have massive funding from various sources, and cannot keep these dogs long term.  The dogs may be in foster for a long time as there are cases pending. It’s the independent greyhound specific rescues are the ones that need the money and hopefully someone will see that we are picking up the pieces of this mess.  As you rightly say, that these mongrels have created.  We are very reputable and have a very high success rate (better than GAP who are funded but the racing industry) at re homing Greyhounds..

  13. Bobby
    I have two retired greys from Friends of the Hounds via Janette.
    One report from Queensland said the government was going to give 350 dollars to rescue organisations, other than, GAP, for every grey rehomed. Wonder if FOTH is going to get a piece of that pie, I know first hand what a great job you do for the dogs.

  14. Bobby

    I have two retired greys from Friends of the Hounds via Janette.

    One report from Queensland said the government was going to give 350 dollars to rescue organisations, other than, GAP, for every grey rehomed. Wonder if FOTH is going to get a piece of that pie, I know first hand what a great job you do for the dogs.

  15. The money in the first instance should go to the people and organisations caring for the dogs that have been confiscated. These people should not have to bare the cost of care and rehabilitation, when the “owners” created the problem, they should pay.

  16. The money in the first instance should go to the people and organisations caring for the dogs that have been confiscated. These people should not have to bare the cost of care and rehabilitation, when the “owners” created the problem, they should pay.

  17. Retired grey That would barely cover their desexing, but every little bit helps.  Janette and Kay do amazing work down there. I take you’re a happy retired grey owner….

  18. Retired grey That would barely cover their desexing, but every little bit helps.  Janette and Kay do amazing work down there. I take you’re a happy retired grey owner….

  19. This is a disgrace on all of humanity. It’s up to us (the general public) to put a stop to this so called “sport”. It cannot be policed..they will only go further underground.  Close the industry down.

  20. This is a disgrace on all of humanity. It’s up to us (the general public) to put a stop to this so called “sport”. It cannot be policed..they will only go further underground.  Close the industry down.