SA Premier gives greyhound racing industry two years to 'clean up its act', as independent inquiry hands down review (2024)

The South Australian government has given the greyhound racing industry two years to improve its standards, or the sport will be banned.

Key points:

  • South Australia'sgreyhound racing industry will be banned if it doesn't improve its standards
  • The state government will establish an independent inspector for greyhound racing reforms
  • It follows an inquiry after a report by the ABC revealed abuse in the industry

It is one of the recommendations of an inquiry into the industry that waslaunched following revelations by the ABC of dogs being abused.

"This government wants to see the greyhound racing industry survive in South Australia, but only if it cleans up its act," Premier Peter Malinauskas said.

"This report makes plainly clear that there is work that needs to be done."

The independent review has handed down 57 recommendations, with an additional 29 from Greyhound Racing SA, the RSPCA and the Animal Justice Party.

That includes a recommendation to establish an independent inspector for greyhound racing reform, who will make sure the recommendations are implemented.

SA Premier gives greyhound racing industry two years to 'clean up its act', as independent inquiry hands down review (1)

After two years, that inspector will make a recommendation to the government about whether the industry should continue.

"It makes clear that this industry has two years, it has two years to clean itself up," Mr Malinauskas said.

"Otherwise it faces the prospect of no longer being able to enjoy the social licence and the government support that is required for it to be able to operate.

"That's a strong recommendation and one that the government accepts."

The inquiry has also recommended governance reforms, including making it clear the board has a role in driving and upholding integrity, and that board members declare private interests.

It also calls for government funding for a full time RSPCA welfare officer dedicated to greyhounds, and an agreement between the RSPCA and the industry to ensure information is shared.

ABC report sparked inquiry

The state government launched the inquiry in July, after the ABC published vision showing multiple greyhounds, including puppies, apparently being kicked and punched by a person on a property south-east of Adelaide.

The story resulted in two trainers being suspended, and investigations launched by the RSPCA and Greyhound Racing SA.

In a separate incident in June, three trainers were given lifetime bans over a live baiting scandal.

Self-regulation out of step, reviewer says

The head of the inquiry, Graham Ashton, said South Australia is one of the few jurisdictions where greyhound racing is effectively self-regulated.

"I think it's out of step with what's happening around the world in terms of industries that are similar to this," he said.

"They operate well with effective oversight and South Australia is one of the few states that doesn't have that oversight at the moment."

SA Premier gives greyhound racing industry two years to 'clean up its act', as independent inquiry hands down review (2)

Mr Ashton said while there are many good people in the industry, he found some cases where dogs had poor nutrition, lacked exercise and access to daylight.

"At the far end of the industry spectrum perhaps there are some people that shouldn't be in the industry, in my opinion," he said.

"Some of the practices that we learnt about and GRSA were aware of and trying to deal with were really quite alarming from an animal welfare perspective."

Mr Ashton said he found there was a gap between the conditions greyhounds are kept in, and what the community expects.

"Certainly greyhounds that are currently being trained and owned in South Australia certainly appear to be very healthy and very fit, physically healthy and fit," he said.

"However there is considerable reform necessary we think to provide the sort of psychological health conditions that the community now expects."

SA Premier gives greyhound racing industry two years to 'clean up its act', as independent inquiry hands down review (3)

Greens MLC Tammy Franks said the industry had today been given a "wake-up call with a two-year snooze button".

"We can't just continue to push the snooze button though, it must be a real wake-up call," she said.

"The industry must clean up its act, or it's got to go."

Elle Trahair from The Coalition for the Protection of Greyhounds thanked the government "for their efforts" but said it "doesn't go far enough".

"I think we need to see a very clear transition plan to the end of this industry and how we're going to move forward," she said.

SA Premier gives greyhound racing industry two years to 'clean up its act', as independent inquiry hands down review (4)

Industry welcomes report release

Greyhound Racing SA (GRSA) issued a statement welcoming the release of the report and saying it has worked hard to engage with the inquiry.

"On initial review, we agree in principle with the recommendations and we have established a working party within GRSA to review the report in detail and to identify opportunities for immediate reform," it said.

"Elements of the report make for challenging reading, and we recognise the task we have been set."

The organisation said the industry generates $112 million a year in economic benefits and supports more than 850 full time jobs.

Posted, updated

SA Premier gives greyhound racing industry two years to 'clean up its act', as independent inquiry hands down review (2024)


Why is greyhound racing unethical? ›

Thousands are bred annually (many more than are needed to race) in an attempt to create the fastest dogs. Cruel methods are often used to dispose of unwanted dogs and the dogs who do survive in the industry are forced to live in cramped crates, pens or fenced enclosures.

Where is greyhound racing banned? ›

Despite self-regulatory efforts to address the issue of live baiting and other animal welfare issues, the investigation led to suspensions, inquiries, condemnation of the practice and the banning of greyhound racing in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory from 1 July 2017, following the passage of ...

Is there a greyhound racing inquiry in South Australia? ›

Following vision of greyhounds being physically abused in South Australia (SA) in 2023, the SA government launched an independent inquiry into the regulatory regime, operations, culture, governance and practices of the greyhound racing industry in SA.

Why did greyhound racing decline? ›

1980s onwards: The popularity of greyhound racing began to decline. Numbers dwindled due to factors such as the rising popularity of other sports, changes in societal attitudes, and increased awareness about animal welfare concerns.

What is the dark side of greyhound racing? ›

The intensity of racing also means dogs can suffer from seizures (from lack of oxygen) and cardiac arrest. Even if treatable, these injuries and conditions often result in euthanasia, as that's considered more “economic”.

What is the biggest issue with greyhound racing currently? ›

There are numerous animal welfare issues inherent to greyhound racing. Overbreeding of dogs, problematic training methods, injuries and deaths during training and races, continuing instances of live-baiting, and the fate of unwanted greyhounds all remain significant concerns.

What states ban dog racing? ›

Maine (1993), Virginia (1995), Vermont (1995), Idaho (1996), Washington (1996), Nevada (1997), North Carolina (1998), Pennsylvania (2004), Massachusetts (2008, effective 2010), Rhode Island (2010), New Hampshire (2010), Colorado (2014), Arizona (2016), Florida (2018), Oregon (2022) and Connecticut (2024) are the most ...

How profitable is greyhound racing? ›

Greyhound Racing NSW's overall income increased from $67 million to $121.5 million during the same period, in a financial performance described by CEO Robert Macaulay as its best on record. The sport's prize money rose from $26.4 million to $46.3 million in a third successive year of record profits.

Why did Florida stop greyhound racing? ›

Dorchak said the campaign's ultimately decisive, strategic goal was to inform the voting public about the sport's "corruption and cruelty." She said, in general, a dog died every three days and suffered devastating injuries from broken legs to severed necks running in circles to enrich bettors and dog-track owners.

Why is greyhound racing illegal in South Africa? ›

In 2014, the DTI once again attempted to legalize Greyhound racing by proposing a revised draft of the national gambling norms and standards. However, this revised draft did not succeed due to: welfare concerns; dog racing not being a traditional African pastime; and the risks associated with proliferation of gambling.

Who supports greyhound racing? ›

In June 2022, the Queensland government announced an increase in the POCT from 15% to 20% with a massive 80% of POCT raised given to Racing Queensland. According to a 2021 Racing Queensland Investment Growth Plan, the greyhound racing industry receives 17.3% of the POCT funding.

What state still has greyhound racing? ›

As of 2024, there are only two active greyhound racetracks in the United States, both located in the state of West Virginia and owned by hospitality conglomerate Delaware North.

Why do people not like greyhound racing? ›

While there are trainers and owners who do care for and love their dogs, there are too many recorded instances of greyhounds' basic welfare needs not being met. These include little, if any, enrichment, poor diet and uncomfortable conditions including lack of space and access to light.

Why is greyhound racing being banned? ›

The Greyhound racing industry is rife with animal welfare issues. In some jurisdictions, there is a concerning lack of transparency on euthanasia, breeding, and how Greyhounds are disposed of when their keepers decide that the dogs can no longer race competitively.

What is the truth about greyhound racing? ›

Because of the all-pervasive economic interests, many greyhound owners and trainers have kept dogs in deplorable conditions and killed them in cheap, cruel ways. Thousands of additional animals - most of them rabbits - are used as live bait each year to teach dogs to chase lures around the track.

Do greyhounds suffer from racing? ›

Poorly maintained tracks and racing frequency can cause painful and often lethal injuries, such as broken backs and limbs. The industry is not required to declare greyhound injuries.

Why should we stop greyhound racing? ›

Racing is inherently dangerous for dogs. In the last racing season, 40% of dogs racing were injured affecting 661 dogs. On any given day at a greyhound race, dogs risk suffering from broken bones, dislocations, ruptured muscles, spinal damage and wounds.

Why do people protest greyhound racing? ›

Dogs are injured while racing, some breeders euthanize dogs that don't have winning prospects, and animals are often kept in less than desirable conditions while serving their time on the racetracks.

Do greyhounds actually like racing? ›

These observations of retired Greyhounds further emphasize that they genuinely enjoy racing and that their passion carries over into their post-racing lives.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Tyson Zemlak

Last Updated:

Views: 5948

Rating: 4.2 / 5 (63 voted)

Reviews: 94% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Tyson Zemlak

Birthday: 1992-03-17

Address: Apt. 662 96191 Quigley Dam, Kubview, MA 42013

Phone: +441678032891

Job: Community-Services Orchestrator

Hobby: Coffee roasting, Calligraphy, Metalworking, Fashion, Vehicle restoration, Shopping, Photography

Introduction: My name is Tyson Zemlak, I am a excited, light, sparkling, super, open, fair, magnificent person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.