19 April 2016

Punt Road gone to the dogs

Billboard on Punt Road, above Richmond Station. Greyhound photo by Alex Cearns / Houndstooth Studio.

Billboard on Punt Road, above Richmond Station. Greyhound photo by Alex Cearns / Houndstooth Studio.

A prominent billboard highlighting the dire plight of Australia’s racing greyhounds has been erected along one of the busiest roads in Melbourne.

Awareness raising group Adopt a Greyhound erected the billboard with the support of the animal protection institute, Voiceless.

The ‘You Bet, They Die’ slogan gives a voice to the up to 17,000 healthy greyhounds who fall victim to the racing industry each year.

A confidential report by Greyhounds Australasia (the national peak body for greyhound racing) showed that of 17,500 dogs born each year, between 13,000 and 17,000 healthy dogs were deemed “wastage” and killed by the industry – a rate of between 74 and 96 per cent. The report was released as part of the Special Commission of Inquiry into the Greyhound Racing Industry in NSW.

"As little as four in every 100 greyhounds born each year will make it beyond about 42 months of age," counsel assisting the special commission of inquiry Stephen Rushton SC told the inquiry in September last year.

"As many as 96 in every 100 healthy young greyhounds born each year will be destroyed by the industry which bred them."

A spokesperson for Adopt a Greyhound said the greyhound racing industry must be shut down immediately.

“Whether they are among the thousands bred and killed because they don’t qualify for racing, or die on the track or as a result of racing injuries, it’s clear that greyhound racing cannot exist without killing greyhounds,” the spokesperson said.

“The question anyone involved in greyhound racing needs to ask themselves is how many dead greyhounds each year is ok? Whether you’re a punter or a dog owner, it would be hard to argue that killing any dog for gambling is acceptable.

“In all the ways that matter, greyhounds are no different from any other dog – they are gentle, affectionate and just want to be loved. Can you imagine the public outrage if it were thousands upon thousands of young healthy labradors being killed every year? Greyhounds deserve better.”

April is Adopt a Greyhound Month; more information on greyhounds as companion animals and on where to adopt or foster can be found here: http://www.adoptagreyhound.com.au/

Contact: hello@adoptagreyhound.com.au

High-res image available on request