LAST UPDATED: 1 October 2015
As the starting signal goes off, and eight lean dogs surge forward along the sandy racetrack, more than one life hangs in the balance.
How many of these remarkable animals will make it to the finish line without being injured — and fast enough to make them 'worth' keeping alive?
How much will the Australian dad watching in the crowd or on TV risk on his bet? How many bets will he make that night … and what does his family stand to lose?
Dig below the shiny public façade of greyhound racing, and you'll find something much uglier. Far from being 'family friendly' entertainment, this cruel industry churns relentlessly through money and lives.
And your tax dollars are keeping it afloat.
State governments funnel millions of dollars each year into to the greyhound racing industry. Breeding incentives, infrastructure and events grants and appearance fees are all part and parcel of this taxpayer-funded support taken from state treasuries across Australia.
Yet, despite allegations of doping, money laundering, corruption and awful animal cruelty, the industry has been allowed to self-regulate, receiving very little — if any — government oversight and scrutiny.
So, what's the return on this massive investment of public funds? An epidemic of gambling. Per capita, Australians gamble more than any other country, with $4 billion wagered on greyhound racing each year.
A Productivity Commission review estimated the total social cost of problem gambling to be at least $4.7 billion a year. And a 2014 Price Waterhouse Coopers report concluded that the NSW racing industry is a 'consumptive sector', and doesn't 'generate any significant productivity benefits to the rest of the economy'.
Used and discarded by this industry at an appalling rate, greyhounds are on the front line of suffering. Just one in 10 greyhound pups born will live out a full lifespan. Thousands of puppies are killed each year, deemed unlikely to make successful racing dogs. Four out of five greyhounds who do go onto race will be killed upon retirement — usually without even seeing their fifth birthday.
The playful personalities and gentle natures of these dogs are routinely suppressed with brutal training tactics, as exposed through recent investigations by Animals Australia and Animal Liberation Queensland. These ground-breaking operations revealed that dogs are not the only animals paying the ultimate price in this industry ...
You can help
No more blood money. TAKE ACTION NOW to demand an end to government-funded greyhound racing cruelty.