Australia’s greyhound racing industry is facing continued public scrutiny following multiple allegations of animal cruelty including brutal live baiting, corruption, harrassment, and exports to supply China’s illegal gambling industry.
In 2015, explosive investigations undertaken by Animals Australia and Animal Liberation Queensland documented widespread and entrenched ‘live baiting’ in Australia’s greyhound racing industry. Terrified piglets, rabbits and native possums were being tied to lures, flung around racetracks at breakneck speeds, and then mauled to death in a sadistic training method that was not only widespread, but widely accepted. Despite intense public backlash, in 2023 dogs and other animals are continuing to suffer for the sake of gambling profits.
In 2023 alone, there have been multiple allegations of animal cruelty — including drone footage capturing dogs and puppies being punched, kicked and dragged on a prominent South Australian trainer’s property. In Victoria, a veteran greyhound trainer and another industry participant were suspended over live baiting allegations, and Tasmania’s ‘top’ greyhound trainer is also facing suspension over live baiting allegations after footage of his property revealed animal parts and dogs being kept in freezing conditions. And despite ABC Investigations revealing the extreme cruelty Australian dogs are being subjected to after being exported to China as ‘breeder dogs’, the Australian greyhound racing industry opposes amending legislation to prevent greyhounds from being exported overseas.
Additionally, Greyhound Racing NSW’s CEO is currently being investigated for ‘serious’ allegations by the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), and a review into Victoria’s racing industry has revealed an “environment where harassment, abuse and assault have taken place unchecked” with harrowing accounts of physical and sexual abuse and “ritualised violence” being heard.
But even this industry at its ‘best’ requires an ongoing demand to breed fast and ‘profitable’ dogs to support the primary goal of the racing industry: to generate gambling income. This means many dogs bred into the industry never make it to a race, and even the ‘winners’ can legally be confined for most of their lives to to barren concrete and wire kennels, and exposed to a high risk of painful injury and death during training and racing.
With Australians demanding an end to greyhound racing cruelty, a ban in the ACT was a big win for dogs and an the people who care so much about them. It’s time for governments in other states to follow the ACT’s lead.
While greyhound racing continues anywhere in Australia dogs and animals used as ‘bait’ are still under threat.