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SA greyhounds industry must reveal death toll: Greens

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Up to 17,000 greyhounds are unnecessarily killed each year in Australia, but the number of dogs killed in each state remains an industry secret.

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Greens MLC Tammy Franks told InDaily she would introduce a Bill into State Parliament to require Greyhounds Racing South Australia to reveal the number of dogs killed unnecessarily each year.

Franks is also calling for an inquiry into the SA industry, similar to those conducted in four other states following the live baiting scandal earlier this year.

In September, industry representatives conceded that between 13,000 and 17,000 dogs are unnecessarily killed across Australia each year, in a document released to the New South Wales inquiry into the industry.

The document, released by Greyhound Racing South Australia boss Matt Corby and Greyhounds Australasia CEO Scott Parker, stated that “the culture of the industry is defined by animal deaths being acceptable and necessary and where profits come before welfare”.

The document revealed 40 percent of the greyhounds bred in the industry each year do not make it to the race track but just six percent of pre-race and retired greyhounds are placed in re-homing facilities to live out their lives outside of racing.

It calls for the number of greyhounds bred each year to be reduced by 40 per cent by 2018 and that the number of successful adoptions each year be increased by 7500.

However, no state-based breakdown, including the number of South Australian dogs killed each year, is disclosed in the document.

“I will be seeking to make reportable figures around euthanasia law,” Franks told InDaily.

“That lets the public know what’s going on and increases the pressure to lower the (euthanasia rate).

“The public deserves to know.”

Franks said the industry needed government regulation to enforce transparency.

“It’s not good enough that we’re only finding out South Australian information from the New South Wales inquiry,” said Franks.

“We need independent regulation, not industry regulation.

“(And) we should’ve had a proper inquiry.

“It should’ve happened in the first place.

“If there’s nothing to hide then there’s nothing to fear from an inquiry.

“It will restore public confidence and it will ensure that a social licence is enabled for the industry to continue.”

RSPCA CEO Tim Vasudeva told InDaily in a statement that “it should not be optional for the greyhound industry to decide whether the community is informed or uninformed about the welfare of greyhounds bred and used for racing”.

“To suggest that transparency should remain at the industry’s discretion prioritises the financial interests of the industry over the welfare of animals used by the industry,” he said.

“This is why we are calling on a formal system of traceability of greyhounds and that data be made publicly available.”

The RSPCA wants an independent agency to oversee the industry, a formal system of tracing the life-cycle of individual dogs with full public disclosure, increased funding for greyhound re-homing and retiring facilities and a formal referral mechanism for reporting breaches of animal welfare legislation.

InDaily contacted Greyhound Racing South Australia for comment.

Image: AAP

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