The theme for this year’s International Day of Forests (21 March) is ‘forests and health’. It provides an opportunity to reflect on the important role that forests play in our lives and whether our national environmental laws, which are currently under review, are doing enough to ensure that future generations...
Despite lockdowns and border closures becoming a regular feature in our lives lately, this hasn’t stopped the ruthless export of greyhounds from Australia in the name of profit. With a staggering 1,313 greyhounds exported between January 2016 and the end of July this year, we’ll likely never know the fate of most of those poor dogs.
With the industry peak body, Greyhounds Australasia, operating their greyhound passport scheme, the various loopholes mean that dogs continue to slip through the system ending up in countries where they escape the welfare protections they deserve. For instance, China has been banned from receiving any Australian greyhound exports since 2016 thanks to their lack of welfare protections, yet reports show that so far this year 87 dogs were exported overseas including four dogs to China. Disturbingly, Greyhound Racing Victoria (GRV) are reportedly investigating the unauthorized export of greyhounds overseas where the dogs were flown into the UK and then rerouted to China.
Thankfully Greens Senator Mehreen Faruqi introduced the Customs Legislation Amendment (Commercial Greyhound Export and Import Prohibition) Bill 2021 into parliament on 1st September 2021, and if passed, this important legislation will finally put a stop to the import and export of greyhounds to and from Australia for commercial purposes, including breeding and racing. It will also include a ban on the export of breeding material.
With the failing system put in place by the greyhound industry, this legislation is urgently needed and would mark an end the horrific mistreatment of Australian greyhounds forced to race for their lives or suffer an unimaginable fate somewhere around the world.
The unrivaled loyalty that our canine companions share with us never fails to amaze me, yet thousands of them continue to be subjected to the dangers of greyhound racing despite the pandemic. Although many of us have been confined to our homes, greyhound racing has continued to prosper meaning that more than 200 dogs met their fate on racetracks around Australia last year, and more than 100 fatalities have been reported so far during 2021.
While we continue to work towards an end to this so-called ‘sport’ altogether, in the meantime we welcome the introduction of Senator Faruqi’s bill which we hope will finally bring an end to the cruelty that eventuates from the export of greyhounds from Australia for commercial use. Please make sure you take action for greys today, and join the calls of support for this important bill in parliament, protecting our faithful canine companions.
Georgie Dolphin is a passionate animal advocate and has been part of the team at Humane Society International since 2012. She grew up on a farm in the UK and gained an honours degree in Animal Science at Leeds University. In her role as Program Manager for Animal Welfare, Georgie’s responsibilities include campaign work on donkeys, farm animals, free range food labelling, and the fur trade, as well as the operation of the organisation’s true free range program, Humane Choice.