“We’re sick of watching these dogs die”

“We’re sick of watching these dogs die”

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The death of a sixth greyhound in 2021 has advocacy groups calling for greyhound racing to be shut down in WA, however the State Government maintains the sport is safe.

On October 10, two-year old greyhound Elarbee Presley was euthanised when he suffered a compound hock fracture in race 7 at Greyhounds WA in Cannington, while another dog, Prancer Lomar, suffered a laceration to the left knee and was stood down for 10 days.

Elarbee Presley was the sixth greyhound killed due to injuries sustained while racing in WA this year, with three killed at the Cannington track and another three in Mandurah.

Alanna Christiansen, president of greyhound welfare and advocacy group Free the Hounds, said the public has had enough of the carnage.

“We want it to stop and so did the 11,500 people who signed our petition to end greyhound racing in this state earlier this year,” she said.

“We’re sick of watching these dogs die.”

Ms Christiansen said greyhounds are an increasingly popular companion dog breed in WA and their treatment by the racing industry is no longer widely accepted by the community.

“Free the Hounds strongly believes WA’s greyhound racing industry has lost public confidence and its social licence to operate.

“The general public’s expectations for animal welfare, particularly dogs, has changed dramatically over the past decade and the racing industry is lagging badly behind.”

A State Government spokesperson said the sport, worth $105.1 million to the State economy, was constantly being reviewed.

“The death of any racing greyhound is distressing for everyone involved in the sport and the industry actively strives to avoid injury of greyhounds through its stringent welfare policies,” the spokesperson said.

“In WA greyhound racing, 99.8% of starters race safely without sustaining major injuries.

“As the regulator of greyhound racing, Racing and Wagering Western Australia (RWWA) constantly reviews its policies and practices to protect the welfare of greyhounds.

“RWWA’s Code of Practice for the Keeping of Racing Greyhounds is based on scientific knowledge and recommended industry practice and developed in consultation with the RSPCA as well as experts in greyhound management, welfare, and veterinary science.

“Track injury data is continually analysed to ensure appropriate race conditions are provided at all tracks in WA. “

However, Ms Christiansen said the response from the State Government was the same every time and no amount of reform would remove the risk of death in the industry, which is why it needs to end.

“Nothing RWWA can do will prevent deaths, which is why we and the community won’t stop fighting for it to end.

“There has been reform, certainly more than the Eastern States, but that doesn’t change the fact that dogs will die.”