Four Corners' recent expose of extreme animal abuse in the greyhound industry was a terrible shock to many of us. The report was a result of hard work from Animals Australia and Animal Liberation Australia Queensland. Lee has joined with animal protection groups calling on state racing bodies to instigate life bans on individuals found guilty of live baiting, and for specialist government task forces to take over the regulation of the industry.
Whilst animal welfare issues are regulated by the states and territories, the import and export of greyhounds falls under federal responsibility. Lee has asked a number of questions about the import and export of greyhounds, particularly to Macau, where 383 imported dogs, almost exclusively from Australia, were culled in 2010. You can see some of Lee's questions here and here.
Across the country, Greens parliamentarians in each state and territory have been campaigning for the humane treatment of greyhounds - here's what they've been working on:
Greens NSW MP John Kaye is working with local Greens and animal rescue groups to amplify our calls for an industry wide suspension and funds to rehabilitate and rehome greyhounds.
The board of Greyhound Racing NSW has been sacked, and several trainers have been stood down.
But more needs to be done to stop the animal welfare crisis in the industry, starting with an immediate suspension of all races. John is continuing to campaign on this important issue.
Greens NSW MP Mehreen Faruqi has also been challenging NSW Primary Industries Minister Katrina Hodkingson attempts to introduce laws which will target animal welfare activists under the guise of biosecurity. Read more about this here.
Mehreen has spoken about this problem in Parliament, and moved a motion to reject the laws. Unfortunately the major parties worked together to defeat the motion.
The Queensland Greens have been active in publicly supporting the campaign against a new greyhound track at Logan City, just south of Brisbane. The building of the new track has, up until now, had the support of both LNP and Labor. You can read more about the issue here and here.
Sue Pennicuik, Victorian Greens MP has been working to promote the welfare of greyhounds for many years. You can see all of here work here.
In February 2015 Sue spoke out against Greyhound Racing Victoria being given $3 million to investigate animal cruelty in the industry. Keep up with Sue's work here.
WA Greens MP Lyn McLaren has called for tighter restrictions on breeding and rearing of greyhounds, as well as funding to support greyhounds post-retirement or if they don't make it to the racing track.
In 2013 she spoke in the WA parliament about the dark underbelly of the greyhound industry in WA in response to the Dog Amendment Bill 2013 in the WA parliament.
She has also kept a close eye on WA's government policy in regards to the issue, asking questions about the breeding of greyhounds and betting in the industry in 2012, and in 2014 about the welfare of greyhounds post-retirement in the racing industry.
Tasmanian Greens MP Cassy O'Connor has called on the Tasmanian government to guarantee any Tasmanian greyhound industry investigation into live baiting is independent and transparent.
She has also called for Tasmania to establish a high level Taskforce to investigate the Tasmanian greyhound industry and to ensure the Tasmania Police and the RSPCA are involved in an independent and rigorous investigation.
Cassy will be introducing a Parliamentary Motion to establish a joint House Inquiry into the greyhound racing industry when parliament resumes in March. The Racing Minister is conflicted in his role, and has established a low-key in-house ‘review' of animal welfare in the industry. This is inadequate. The Greens have secured ‘in principle' support for the inquiry from the Liberal party.