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SA greyhound industry refuses to disclose death toll

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Greyhound Racing South Australia says it will not disclose the number of greyhounds that die unnecessarily in the industry each year.

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Greyhound racing cruelty scandal

In September, greyhound racing industry representatives revealed 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 (GRSA) 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”.

But the number of dogs killed in each state every year remains an industry secret.

In November, the RSPCA and the Greens called on GRSA to release the number of greyhounds that are killed in South Australia each year. At the time, GRSA did not respond to InDaily‘s request for comment. 

However, yesterday a spokesperson for the industry body told InDaily GRSA would not be releasing the figures.

The spokesperson said disclosing the number of greyhounds killed in South Australia would distract from the industry’s “broader dialogue” about programs it sponsors to re-home greyhounds considered unfit for racing.

“GRSA will not publicly disclose the information you have requested as it distracts from the broader dialogue and commitment to programs to support rehoming, including the national industry’s submission to the Special Commission of Inquiry into the Greyhound Racing Industry in New South Wales,” the spokesperson said.

“We acknowledge the community perception that any unnecessary euthanasia is unacceptable and are working with priority to meet that expectation.

“GRSA is a clear national leader in greyhound adoption and we remain accountable to provide re-homing for all unraced or retired greyhounds by 2018. 

“South Australia will be the first state to achieve that outcome and set the standard for other states to follow.”

In November, 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 Australian greyhound racing industry was rocked by revelations of live baiting – using small animals such as possums and rabbits to “blood” greyhounds – in a report by the ABC’s Four Corners program in February.

Photo: AAP / RSPCA Victoria

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