Greyhound Racing in Tasmania

Some of the state’s biggest and most influential pet dog organisations are throwing their weight behind a new campaign to mobilise Tasmania’s quarter of a million pet lovers against greyhound racing.

They include RSPCA Tasmania, Companion Animal Network Australia, and Tasmanian Dog Walking Clubs Inc. Influential individual clubs in Greater Hobart such as the Kingborough Dog Walking Association are also on board. All the greyhound welfare groups are also mobilising.

A new petition* to the Parliament was lodged on Friday calling attention to the inherent cruelty of the sport and urging Liberal and Labor politicians to end taxpayer funding of dog racing, seen by many people as cruel and unnecessary.

We’re planning a community based, grassroots campaign that will build quickly as word spreads and support grows. The petition is now available online and armies of volunteers are out and about at parks, dog beaches and cafes collecting signatures from families and animal lovers of all kinds. Small businesses all around the state are also expressing interest in placing petitions on their premises.

We know most Tasmanians love their pet dogs and they don’t see why greyhounds should be singled out for miserable, short lives for no good reason.

They are suddenly joining the dots between their own adored labradoodles or whatever and the docile greyhounds that they meet over a puppacino or two in the local cafe.

The campaign has been driven by a widely reported incident that occurred recently in the north of the state. A young greyhound, screaming in pain from a broken leg, was reportedly left to suffer overnight before being unnecessarily euthanised; rehoming and funding for surgery had been offered.

There were calls for the immediate suspension of the trainer involved, Tasmania’s biggest. Racing integrity officials and our RSPCA inspectors are investigating. Meanwhile, he is still presenting dogs at races despite the widespread public outrage generated by media reports.

The fact that the state government spends more than $6.5 million of taxpayer money each year propping up the cruel spectacle of dog racing makes people even more angry.

We’re constantly told that trainers and owners love their dogs. So it is time for them to put their own money where their mouths are. We believe that the racing industry should be made to stand on its own feet – and that the reliance on taxpayer funding should be ceased. Not only that, but there needs to be a significant increase in investment in animal welfare programs across the industry and a great deal more transparency and accountability around welfare initiatives.

The power of people to bring about change should never be underestimated. Without the pressure you can apply to our elected representatives, change will not happen. I hope you don’t mind if we call on you again, as we continue our work to improve the lives of greyhounds – and, in fact, all animals – in Tasmania.

PETITION To End Public Funding of Greyhound Racing

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