Knowledgebase > Greyhound Racing

Greyhound Racing

Last updated 21 October 2020

In 2015, the live baiting scandal brought to light the plethora of animal welfare issues that are inherent to the greyhound racing industry. Since then, the industry has been under increased scrutiny from the general public. Unfortunately live baiting is but one of the animal welfare issues associated with this cruel ‘sport’. Over-breeding, euthanasia of healthy animals, injuries on and off the track, inadequate and inappropriate medical care, ‘disappearing’ dogs, lack of enrichment, doping, confinement and inappropriate international live export are all issues associated with this industry.

Is greyhound racing banned in Australia?

Unfortunately, with Australia professing to have high animal welfare standards, it is a common misconception that this exploitative ‘sport’ is prohibited. Sadly, this couldn't be further from the truth.

Wastage

‘Wastage’ is the industry term used to describe dogs that have been bred for racing but have been deemed unsuitable to race, whether they were never registered to race, injured, do not perform well enough to be retained by their owner, or become too old.

Track injuries and death

At the time this article was written (September 2020), there have been a huge 6772 track-related injuries and 150 deaths in Australian greyhound racing this year alone.

Live baiting

Live baiting is the illegal practice of using small, live animals such as chickens, possums, piglets and kittens to stimulate greyhounds to chase, with the disgraceful theory that catching a live animal will result in faster racers.

Doping and Aversive Therapies

With trainers' continual efforts to gain the competitive edge, the use of illicit substances in an attempt to enhance greyhound performance is commonplace, with no regard for the effects they have on the dogs wellbeing.

Medical neglect

Greyhounds surrendered to rescue groups commonly show signs of preceding inappropriate medical treatment and neglected issues.

Behavioural welfare

Even the ideal welfare standards, promoted by Industry Codes of Practice, make little considerations for the ongoing, life-long behavioural welfare of greyhounds.

International Export

Australian greyhounds exported overseas to countries where they have even fewer legal protections than in Australia.

How can you help?

Thankfully with increased public awareness of the plight of greyhounds in the racing industry, greyhound adoption has been on the rise. For the most fortuitous greyhounds, when they exit the industry, they will be given the opportunity to transition to life as a family member.