The Greens are calling on the federal government to enforce an industry ban on greyhound exports to countries with poor animal welfare protections. This call comes after the ABC ran Animals Australia investigation on the 7.30 report tonight which exposed routine, brutal mistreatment and killing of Australian dogs in China, Macau and Vietnam.
Key findings of the investigation:
- China and Macau: 72 Australian greyhound owners and trainers are implicated in exporting dogs to Macau and China, in clear breach of an industry-wide ban on exporting greyhounds to countries with poor animal welfare protections.
- Macau: 700 Australian greyhounds are living onsite at the notorious Canidrome in Macau. The dogs are confined to barren cells, with inadequate socialisation and exercise. With no rehoming program, all these dogs will be killed once they are no longer profitable.
- Vietnam: Mass executions of dogs occurring in the greyhound racing industry in Vietnam, which was established by Australian racing interests. There is also evidence of rabbits being used as live bait.
Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon said: ‘The Australian greyhound racing industry is a world leader in animal cruelty.
‘Now the industry is exporting its appalling practices including mass killings and live baiting to countries with poor animal welfare protections like China and Vietnam.
‘These greyhounds, which are being exported to South East Asia, live short and brutal lives.
‘With little or no animal welfare laws to protect them in these countries, greyhounds are routinely injured, mistreated and finally killed when they are no longer profitable.
‘The export ban announced by Greyhounds Australasia in 2013 has become a farce, with routine breaches and little or no enforcement effort.
‘Breeders and trainers who ignore the ban and export dogs to prohibited countries don't even risk a slap on the wrist.
‘Even Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce must realise that this violates the common standards of decency that his constituents would expect. He needs to quickly intervene and give the export ban some legislative teeth.
‘Dogs will continue to suffer until the industry export ban is enshrined in federal law and rigorously enforced.
‘The greyhound racing industry continues to allow the shipment of their dogs overseas with the full knowledge that not one of these creatures will survive.
‘The very least that regulatory bodies like Greyhound Racing NSW could do would be to impose a ban from racing dogs locally on each trainer and breeder found to have exported dogs in breach of the industry rules.
‘Greyhound racing has no future in Australia. It is only a matter of time before the industry is banned or collapses from a lack of public support.
‘Failed greyhound breeders and trainers must not be allowed to continue to profit from animal cruelty by exporting their dogs overseas,' Senator Rhiannon said.
According to the Federal Department of Agriculture, 654 greyhounds were exported from Australia in 2014. Of these dogs 240were sent to Macau.
The export of dogs is in defiance of an industry wide suspension of all greyhound passports to Macau issued by peak body Greyhounds Australasia (GA) in March 2013.
The ban was put in place after a 2012 review found systemic and widespread animal welfare breaches.
The review found that close to 50 per cent of Macau's racing stock were euthanised each year due to serious injury. Greyhounds were also found to be living in tiny kennels and not receiving adequate exercise. At the time of writing the report, not a single dog had been rehomed under their industry adoption program.
Despite being completed in 2012, the report was not made public until 24 June 2014. In a media statement to coincide with the release of the report, GA confirmed that it had suspended the issuance of passports to any country that had a lower standard of care and accountability than Australia.
The Greens currently have a bill before the NSW Parliament that would ban the export of greyhounds overseas for racing and breeding purposes.