Greyhounds need integrity agency: RSPCA SA

The RSPCA is calling for a string of reforms to improve the welfare of greyhounds in the South Australian racing industry and deter breeders from live baiting and doping.


RSPCA South Australia has proposed an independent greyhound racing integrity agency be established and a public database that traces the lives of racing greyhounds be introduced.

RSPCA SA chief executive Tim Vasudeva says an integrity agency is required because the industry is incapable of regulating itself.

“We don’t believe there is any genuine willingness to look at a serious path for reform,” Mr Vasudeva said in Adelaide on Monday.

“We’re looking for the community to help us push for that reform.”

He said the proposed reforms come after months of dead-end talks between RSPCA SA and Greyhound Racing South Australia.

As an example of the industry’s failure to self-regulate, Mr Vasudeva spoke of case earlier this year in which the RSPCA and police found controlled drugs at a leading greyhound breeder’s property in Two Wells.

He said the RSPCA informed the GRSA of the discovery and asked officials to test the dogs – but they didn’t do it.

“As far as we’re concerned they’re not interested in knowing whether doping is going on in South Australia,” Mr Vasudeva said.

RSPCA SA also proposed government funding be allocated to re-homing and retiring programs for dogs, and that a referral system be introduced to ensure breaches of animal welfare law are reported.

“You cannot have an industry where perfectly healthy greyhounds are being shot just because they’re not quick,” Mr Vasudeva said.

The announcement comes as reports emerge of senior greyhound racing administrators in NSW attempting to downplay live baiting before a Four Corners program that exposed the illegal practice was aired.

Mr Vasudeva said it was “quite clear” the industry was aware that live baiting was occurring.

“We just don’t think it’s good enough,” he said.

Live baiting, which has been banned for decades, involves the use of live animal lures such as rabbits or possums to train greyhounds to race.

Mr Vasudeva was joined for the announcement by a former racing greyhound named Bobby, who is looking for a new home after being surrendered to the RSPCA.