I was alarmed to read today, through Maggie’s Farm, that the Victorian Minister for Racing, Denis Napthine, has bumped the winning incentives for greyhound breeders to $30 million annually (through a new scheme). To say I was horrified is putting it mildly. Already, a colossal number of greyhounds (19 000) are destroyed each year as surplus to the industry, and a scheme such as this one is surely going to encourage the disposal of a huge number of greyhounds each year.
Imagine in the government removed all contributions to racing prize money (that is, less $30 million +) and instead putting that money into the greyhound adoption groups. Potentially, these groups could rehome all these dogs! If we say, on a generous sum, adoption groups spent $700 per grey to get them ready for adoption, that would only be $13 million (for all 19 000 greys currently killed a year). Perhaps the remaining sums could be used for enforcing welfare legislation regarding greyhound kennelling, and funding the wages of all individuals involved in improving welfare outcomes for greyhounds caught up in the racing industry.
Note: I do not find the lure coursing of greyhounds and other dogs all the abhorrent. Greyhounds and other dogs love to run, and lure coursing is a fun way for them to practice running. My issue stems from an industry that treats their companion animals as commodities, and disposes of them as such.
Please consider writing a letter to Mr Napthine regarding his support of a greyhound industry that kills 95% of the dogs bred. Below, his contact details and a letter that I wrote regarding this issue. (You’re welcome to use all or parts of my letter in yours.)
Ministerial Office – Phone (03) 9095 4170
Electorial Office/ Warmambool – Phone (03) 5562 8230
94 Liebig Street,
Warrnambool VIC 3280
Or use the ‘ask’ form on Denis’s website.
To Mr Denis Napthine,
I was alarmed today to read your 26th March announcement of the Greyhound Owners and Breeders Incentive Scheme (GOBIS), aimed at ‘stimulating growth’ in the greyhound racing industry.
I am surprised that there is a need to stimulate this industry, considering the number of greyhounds bred each year, and the number destroyed. Approximately 20 000 greyhounds are bred in Australia each year. A huge number, indicating an already large industry. However, appallingly, approximately 19 000 greyhounds each year are euthanised or otherwise destroyed as surplus to the industry’s requirements.
As it stands, the greyhound racing industry is an industry of excess animals. I am highly concerned that a scheme such as GOBIS, aimed to financially reward breeders who breed racing greyhounds, will see more greyhounds bred and more greyhounds destroyed as breeders pursue these financial benefits.
I read that these schemes will see $30 million given to greyhound breeders who manage to breed winners. Obviously, the humans are the only winners in this equation, for each greyhound bred has a 95% chance of being destroyed at the end of their racing career.
I would much rather see this $30 million invested into programs already established in rehoming greyhounds and reducing the euthanasia of these companion animals. Making Victoria the ‘number one greyhound racing state’ will surely result in also making Victoria ‘the number one greyhound killing state’. An investment in greyhound rehoming may make Victoria ‘the number one greyhound rescue state’ – a feat that would be very impressive!
I ask for you to reconsider your support of an industry with the blood of 19 000 dogs, annually, on their hands.