IN THE NEWS: Australian greyhound owners fined over exports to cruel conditions in China

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IN THE NEWS: On NOV 10, 2017

Three owners bought 166 dogs from NSW racetracks and sold them overseas, including to a Shanghai zoo which races the animals against cheetahs.

Three greyhound owners have been fined for exporting 166 dogs to cruel conditions in China, including to a Shanghai zoo notorious for racing the animals against cheetahs.

The large-scale unauthorised greyhound export scheme relied on buying unwanted dogs at cheap prices from New South Wales racetracks and selling them on to China for profit.

The three Australians shipped 96 dogs to the Macau Canidrome racetrack, despite Greyhounds Australasia having banned exports to Macau in 2013, due to high death rates and poor conditions.

Another 70 greyhounds were sent to the Shanghai Wild Animal Park, a park notorious for cruel and shocking animal shows.

The greyhounds were sent to Shanghai in two shipments: 40 animals in May 2013 and another 30 in November 2015.

Earlier this year, Fairfax Media reported that Australian greyhounds were being housed at the Shanghai zoo in hot and dark concrete cells, before being used in a 100 metre race with a cheetah. The winner was crowned the “fastest in animal kingdom”.

The Shanghai park has previously faced criticism for holding bicycle races between a bear and two monkeys during its “animal Olympics”, which resulted in the mauling of a monkey.

The zoo has also staged boxing matches between a clown and a kangaroo, and brought in wild elephants captured in Africa, which were kept behind bars and on concrete floors.

Late last month, Greyhound Racing NSW, the state regulator, handed down its judgment on two Australian owners, Mark Farrugia and Stephen Farrugia, who exported the dogs to Macau and Shanghai. It disqualified both for two-and-a-half years and fined them $22,000. A third woman, Donna Farrugia, was found guilty of knowingly aiding and abetting the exports, and suspended for a year-and-a-half.

The majority of the greyhounds were purchased for $500 and sold for between $2,100 and $2,700.

The trio estimated they made a profit of $300 per dog, after costs of quarantine, vaccination, flights and boxes.

They made $50,000 from exporting the 166 dogs.

The case has prompted the Greens NSW MP, Mehreen Faruqi, to call for a national ban on greyhound exports.

“It’s time to shut down this death trade that sees perhaps hundreds of greyhounds exported all over the world, including to the infamous ‘Canidrome’ in Macau where dogs have a near 100% death rate,” she told Guardian Australia.

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