In the nine months since the NSW Greyhound Welfare and Integrity Commission has been operational almost 40% of racing greyhounds have ended up dead either from disease, injury at the track, or being euthanised.
Figures listing dog deaths and re-homing since halfway through last year show 1773 greyhounds have left the industry and of that 660 hounds have ended up dead.
The numbers come from FOI documents obtained by Greens Senator Mehreen Faruqi, who claims the death toll is just the tip of the iceberg.
“We have no way of knowing how many of the dogs leave the industry alive on paper but are put down straight after,” she said.
“For example, the industry counts dogs being dumped on council pounds as ‘retired’, even though those dogs are at high risk of being put down.”
In total 110 greyhounds were euthanised because they could not be re-homed – 81 of those dogs were deemed not suitable for re-homing while 29 were re-homed unsuccessfully. Further, 390 were “humanely euthanised” by a vet, including 75 as a result of an on-track injury.
The report also cites greyhounds that have died as a result of illness, an accident, or natural causes – that number is 157, while three died from track injuries in what the Greyhound Welfare and Integrity Commission calls “sudden deaths.” It’s worth noting that a greyhound’s life expectancy is between 10-15 years.
It has been over two years since then-NSW Premier Mike Baird banned greyhound racing before spectacularly revoking the same ban two months later. The Greyhound Welfare and Integrity Commission was established to clean up the industry, following explosive reports of live-baiting and mass graves. The government and industry also funds Greyhounds as Pets, a rehoming program that successfully retired 175 of those greyhounds in the last eight months.
“Dogs continue to die while we have seen no greyhound register, no lifetime tracking and no breeding cap. The only thing that has changed is that this awful and deadly sport is now subsidised by the taxpayer,” said Faruqi.