About 40% of greyhounds bred to race in NSW go missing

WASTAGE: "Excess" dogs euthanised.
WASTAGE: "Excess" dogs euthanised.

Working Dog Alliance Australia has called for more transparent record-keeping in the state’s greyhound racing industry after it discovered about 30 per cent of dogs go missing within the first year of birth.

In 2013 there were 7562 greyhound pups whelped, but records from Greyhound Racing NSW show only 4768 were ever named.

The findings came out of a report on the greyhound industry commissioned by GRNSW and developed by the alliance.

The research found a further 10 per cent of dogs born to race go missing from the records after being named.

In total, about 40 per cent of greyhounds bred to race, never start in a race and are mostly unaccounted for.

“We recognise that this data set may not be fully independent and could have overlapping categories,” the Working Dog Alliance Australia noted.

“For example, some of the dogs noted as missing between whelping and naming may be recorded as deceased.

“However, the figures provide the most accurate measures available in the NSW racing greyhound industry and they show that a high level of wastage has occurred over this time period.”

Wastage refers to the number of dogs bred for the purpose of racing that are then euthanised for a number of different reasons including failing to become racers, being excess to a participant’s needs, or being unable to be rehomed due to behaviour, physical, training or injury.

While the practice of euthanasia is legal, the report found it was not in line with community expectations of what was ethical.

“Wastage represents one of the most significant threats to the NSW greyhound racing industry’s sustainability and public licence to operate,” the report stated.

“Strategies to proactively reduce the wastage levels in the industry must be given a much higher priority by GRNSW.”

GRNSW interim CEO Paul Newson said the findings would inform all of the organisation’s future welfare and education initiatives.

“GRNSW is putting welfare at the centre of everything it does to ensure the sport is consistent with community expectations and that integrity and governance arrangements recover community trust while supporting responsible development of the sport,” he said.