Almost one hundred people gathered outside NSW Parliament this morning to mark the one year anniversary of the greyhound racing backflip and to call for a shutdown of the industry. Protesters hung banners and signs on the Parliament House fence condemning the industry. Statistics obtained by Dr Faruqi showed that in the 9 months following the overturning of the ban, more than 700 dogs have died as a result of racing, a rate of death of almost 3 dogs a day.
The protest was organised by Greens NSW MP and Animal Welfare Spokesperson, Dr Mehreen Faruqi MLC, one of the leading critics of the greyhound racing industry will speak about how nothing has changed as druggings and deaths of dogs continue.
Other speakers included Gabrielle Openshaw (Animal Liberation), Nicola Benyon (Humane Society International) and Lorraine Ramsay (Rescued Greyhounds NSW Central Coast).
Hundreds more are expected at a second rally will on Saturday at Sydney Park (details here)
Dr Faruqi said:
“Exactly one year ago today, the greyhound racing ban in New South Wales was overturned in what was the most shameful episodes of NSW politics and believe me there have been many.
“The original ban passed parliament after thousands of pages of incredibly overwhelming evidence of animal cruelty, drugging, tens of thousands of deaths and a culture that treats greyhounds as disposable.
“But now, the Racing Minister gave the greyhound racing industry $41 million of taxpayer funds against the advice of his own expert panel because the industry would not pay to meet even the low standards of animal welfare that the Government now required of it. The much hyped Greyhound Racing Integrity Commission hasn’t even been established and the code of practice that was meant to end the cruelty and the deaths hasn’t surfaced yet.
“Trainers continue to get caught drugging their dogs with methamphetamine, amphetamine, human growth hormones and arsenic.
“Through freedom of information I’ve found out that many dogs continue to die and the rate of greyhound deaths related to racing hasn’t changed, with almost 3 dogs killed every day, which means almost 1000 dogs have died as a result of racing in the since the backflip - and that’s just the ones we know about. More than half of them were put down as ‘unsuitable for rehoming’, a polite term for how the industry now disposes of dogs that no longer turn a profit.
“We are here today because despite the backflip and the wholesale betrayal of the major parties, the community of animal lovers has not given up.
“There has never been greater awareness of the cruelty in greyhound racing. As more and more people find out racing’s dirty secret of abused dogs that are tossed aside as wastage when they are injured or cease being profitable, they join the campaign to shut this industry down. The growing momentum is unstoppable.
“The industry is in a downward spiral because it simply can’t meet even the most basic of animal welfare demands — an end to deaths, drugging and cruelty. And the community has learnt an important lesson, that the Labor, Liberal and National parties stand not on principle, but only for self-preservation, no matter the cost” she concluded.
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