Grey­hound adop­tion cuts sport’s seedy side

The West Australian - - NEWS - Daniel Emer­son

Aus­tralia was shocked two years ago when a Four Cor­ners ex­pose re­vealed the ex­tent of hor­rific mis­treat­ment of greyhounds in the East­ern States.

Mis­con­duct such as live bait­ing was never es­tab­lished in WA, but the un­seemly prac­tice of eu­thanis­ing greyhounds that didn’t run fast enough was a fea­ture of the lo­cal in­dus­try.

In 2015-16, 104 greyhounds were put down for not rac­ing.

Last fi­nan­cial year that fell to seven.

Rac­ing and Gam­ing Min­is­ter Paul Pa­palia said he ex­pected that to drop to zero this fi­nan­cial year off the back of a new grey­hound wel­fare work­ing group.

Mr Pa­palia re­leased fig­ures on re­tired or de­ceased rac­ing greyhounds for the first time ahead of Rac­ing and Gam­ing WA’s an­nual re­port be­ing tabled next week to high­light the Govern­ment’s fo­cus on wel­fare.

“It’s our in­tent to be the gold stan­dard in the in­dus­try,” he said.

Se­vere penal­ties, in­clud­ing sus­pen­sion, ap­ply for train­ers which put down an ex-rac­ing grey­hound with­out first hav­ing it as­sessed by RWWA’s Greyhounds as Pets adop­tion agency.

Some greyhounds can’t be re­leased to the com­mu­nity be­cause of be­havioural is­sues and are put down. That fig­ure was 53 last fi­nan­cial year, down from 92 the pre­vi­ous year.

But over­all the num­ber of greyhounds re-homed, ei­ther by GAP or other adop­tion agen­cies, rose 50 per cent last fi­nan­cial year to 691.

GAP team leader Lau­ren Sav­age said greyhounds made gen­tle, af­fec­tion­ate pets.

“They adapt re­ally well to home en­vi­ron­ments and a lot of that is to do with rac­ing exposure be­cause they’ve been han­dled by such a va­ri­ety of peo­ple,” she said.

It is il­le­gal for greyhounds to be off their leash at any pub­lic dog parks be­cause of their propen­sity to take off.

GAP typ­i­cally charges about $350 for a ster­ilised, mi­crochipped grey­hound.

RWWA di­rec­tor gen­eral Richard Burt said grey­hound rac­ing was a “niche in­dus­try” in WA. “Three tracks, small num­ber bred, high re­hom­ing rates and no live bait­ing. I say that hand on heart,” he said.

Pic­ture: Michael Wil­son

Paul Pa­palia with Jake at Greyhounds as Pets.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.