During the week Andrea Dawkins, the MP for the electorate of Bass, tabled a document in State Parliament listing 16 greyhounds alleged to have died on the track within the first six months of 2016.
One of the greyhounds named in the document was Wee Fire, who earned $34,650 on the racetrack and was reported by Dawkins to have died from unknown causes at less than four years of age.
Dawkins has since been forced to issue a public apology and retraction after Wee Fire’s part-owner, Julie Bannon, came forward declaring the greyhound was alive and well.
“The information that one less dog has died at the hands of this industry is the great news for an animal welfare advocate to receive,” Dawkins said in her statement.
“Our incorrect listing of Wee Fire as a deceased greyhound was unintended, and I will correct the Parliamentary record this evening. We apologise unreservedly to Wee Fire’s owner and trainer for our mistake.
“Getting information about greyhounds who have died or are missing is challenging. It’s unfortunate we are forced to rely on the information compiled by animal welfare activists.
“The greyhound racing industry is under a cloud because of its cruel nature and a lack of transparency.”
However, Bannon says the public statement was not good enough.
“I am angry and disappointed to think that somebody could do something like this and not have their information right,” Bannon told Australian Racing Greyhound.
“She put something up on the Greens site… but I thought a personal apology would have happened, not that we probably would have accepted it.
“She has no idea of the effect this has caused. It’s not just me but a lot of people have been upset by it – there is another owner and the trainer as well.
“We have since received plenty of messages of support from people, but it shouldn’t have happened in the first place.
“If they want to put this stuff out there they need to make sure all of their information is correct.
“They don’t think; they just do what they want.”
Bannon is now urging Dawkins to experience the industry from a different perspective to see that the majority of greyhounds are loved and nurtured.
“She needs to go and spend the day with a trainer and see how we look after our dogs,” Bannon said.
“A lot of the time they are looked after better than ourselves – I haven’t trained for a couple of seasons now – but when I was I made sure all the dogs and pups got fed before me – a lot of the time I wouldn’t get to sit down for a meal until after 8’o clock at night.
“They all get looked after and have their warm beds and plenty of attention – these people need to take the time to recognise that.
“They need to do their homework a bit better.”