INDUSTRY top dog Geoff Rose has shut down claims Greyhound Racing NSW’s new euthanasia policy shows the sector still refuses to reform.
Greens MP Dr Mehreen Faruqi has criticised the policy that allows a greyhound owner to euthanise their dog after two attempts at rehoming, adding it was “an impossible choice to make” between adding to “massively overstretched and volunteer-run organisations to essentially being told that if they don’t take on this dog, it will be killed”.
But Gunnedah-based Greyhound Breeders, Owners and Trainers Association chair Mr Rose has said animal welfare across the industry is better than ever.
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It comes in the wake of the the state government’s sensational backflip on the greyhound racing ban in October 2016, after a Special Commission of Inquiry found “overwhelming evidence of systemic animal cruelty, including mass greyhound killings and live baiting”.
“Our trainers and owners try to rehome dogs as far as they can,” Mr Rose said.
“The industry has changed.
“It’s the most animal welfare-friendly it’s been in the last 30 years I’ve been in the industry.
“Animal welfare today is extremely good. It’s hard for the owners and trainers but they’ve accepted that.”
Mr Rose moved to clarify that only a very small percentage of dogs were euthanised – and they were “not acceptable to society”.
“You can’t expect anyone to adopt a greyhound if it’s not going to fit into society,” he said.
“The greyhound industry has been given a chance to reform, which we are doing.”
Dr Faruqi said the greyhound industry must take responsibility for the retirement of each and every greyhound, not push the responsibility onto rehoming groups.
“Less than 25 per cent of racing greyhound owners have adopted their dogs as pets since the backflip in the last year, which is extremely low,” she said.
“If the industry had any interest in changing they would be focusing on supporting adoption, not issuing policies that justify death sentences if it takes more than 20 business days to be rehomed.
“More than 330 dogs have been put down and registered as being ‘unsuitable for rehoming’ since the Liberals backflipped on the ban.”
But Mr Rose estimated about 45 per cent of the dogs needing to be rehomed would remain in the same family.