The Aussie Battle For Man's Best Friend; Why The Ban on Greyhound Racing Needs To Go National
That adorable, vulnerable face! Whether you are a paleo, a vegan, a butcher or a yoga teacher, the majority of humans share a love for our four-legged friends and who doesn't love a puppy! Yet, unless you have been hiding under a rock you will know that last year in Australia, the horrific scandal behind the greyhound industry was exposed on Four Corners, Making A Killing, revealing, amongst much other cruel practices, 8,000 of these innocent puppies and another 10,000 'retired' greyhounds are being killed every year because they are not simply quick enough for the race tracks. Only this week a mass grave was discovered with the remains of 99 greyhounds killed for this industry.
Nine out of ten dogs born into the greyhound industry never get to live out a full life
And there was outrage.
People of Australia are big dog lovers, with 40% of us sharing our homes with a furry mate, so it is no surprise that when we discovered that these intelligent, emotional beings were being subjected to either early death, or lives of extreme training, doping and the rest of the time left in barren cages - we understood this is not right. I must point out how wonderful it is to see this empathy, also how removed the response is to how other animals, such as pigs, who are just as capable of feeling joy and pain and proven to be just as clever as dogs, are kept in confinement in conditions just as terrible and killed as traumatically - in the millions yet because we don't have the personal contact with them, we seem to be able to ignore the documented exposure of what they are suffering inside factory farms.
I wonder if we started to keep pigs as pets (which I would LOVE to if we lived someone else) would the same rising voice of the people occur for them too? I personally think so.
In the case of greyhounds, people were moved to do something. Since Australia is only one of eight countries in the world that continues this outdated industry, (even in the USA greyhound racing is illegal in 39 states) it seems ludicrous to let the practice continue. With 200 dogs being injured in race weeks, thousands of innocent animals such as piglets, kittens, possums and rabbits being used illegally, tied to lures, flung around racetracks at breakneck speeds, and then mauled to death as live-baiting and all this being done to support a self-regulated industry that fuels the gambling problem in Australia (we spend more money on gambling per capita than anywhere else in the world) and that costs us millions of dollars of government money. It doesn't make sense.
“...they usually use possums ... you can see claw marks in the sand ... there's blood all over the track.” — Track manager on live-baiting
With enough media coverage, outcry for the people, blatant evidence of cruelty even in independent investigations, sponsors pulling out and suspensions being issued, finally earlier this month Premier Mike Baird made the call that NSW would ban greyhound racing by July 2017 and soon the ACT followed suit. AMAZING!!!!
"In response to widespread illegal and unconscionable activity, including the slaughtering of tens of thousands of dogs, I can today announce that NSW is putting an end to greyhound racing... we simply cannot and will not stand-by and allow the widespread and systemic mistreatment of animals." Mike Baird
You can help make this a nation wide ban, and make sure the pressure remains to see this ban through by contacting your local MP or learn more and sign Animals Australia's petition. Please also watch the Four Corners report if you haven't done so - the brilliant investigation will move you to use your voice for these animals that need you.
And if you are looking for a dog to join the family, why not adopt a rescued greyhound - they are gentle and don't actually need that much exercise!