More than 33,000 people have rejected the draft NSW greyhound code via a petition presented to NSW politicians today in Sydney, said the Coalition for the Protection of Greyhounds (CPG).
CPG presented the change.org petition to five politicians at Macquarie Street: MLC Ms Emma Hurst who will table it in the Upper House, as well as MLAs Jamie Parker and Alex Greenwich, together with MLCs Abigail Boyd and Mark Pearson.
Meanwhile, NSW Minister Kevin Anderson will soon make a final decision on the code which will set minimum welfare standards for years to come, but refused to meet with the group.
Mr Dennis Anderson, CPG’s national president, said unless the draft code is improved the public comments addressed to the Minister in the petition foreshadow how the industry will again fail to meet community expectations on animal cruelty.
“Over 33,000 people have said ‘no way’ to the draft code and the petition is still growing. We thank those who’ve signed it and we also thank the 17 animal welfare leaders from around the world and in Australia who lent their voices to the effort,” he said. (See lower half of petition for leaders’ comments.)
He said the draft code fails to meet two of the RSPCA’s internationally recognised five freedoms:
the freedom to express normal behaviour: by providing sufficient space, proper facilities and company of the animal’s own kind.
the freedom from fear and distress: by ensuring conditions and treatment which avoid mental suffering.
Other signatories were critical of the code failing the RSPCA standards because it:
gives the industry ten years to address sub-standard kennels,
confines racers in a 3m2 space (1.2m width and 1.8m height minimums) for 24 hours a day with no minimum daily exercise requirement specified,
allows dogs retained for breeding or as a pet by industry participants to be kept in minimum size cages longterm, when these dogs can age for up to 15 years,
ignores UTS research on how to reduce track injuries and deaths by racing six dogs instead of eight at a time,
allows artificial insemination, a procedure banned in the UK due to the pain involved.
MLC Emma Hurst said: “This ‘draft welfare code’ is a smokescreen for allowing greyhound cruelty to continue. It does nothing to protect greyhounds, allowing them to be held in tiny kennels, left without social interaction or exercise, and even killed.”
“The weakness of this code exposes the truth: greyhound racing can’t occur without animal cruelty and must be shut down.”
“By allowing this code to pass, the NSW Government will be responsible for allowing more greyhounds to suffer, disappear and die at the hands of the industry.”