• GREYHOUND RACING INDUSTRY DRUG USE

    17th November 2016

    Adjournment Speech.

    Greyhound industry cruelty.

    GREYHOUND RACING INDUSTRY DRUG USE

    The Hon. MARK PEARSON (16:38): I take this opportunity to inform the House that 23 different drugs that have been banned at the Olympic Games are being force fed to New South Wales greyhounds. This information is in the boxes of documents that have been provided by Greyhound Racing NSW. Greyhounds are being given cocaine, ice and amphetamines to improve their performance. I have read several descriptions of greyhounds running in a race, gaining a place and then collapsing, thrashing about, having fits and dying. In recent years the greyhound industry has faced numerous challenges to its tenuous grasp on any social licence it may have or its right to exist in a civil and progressive society. Some of the challenges include links to money laundering, animal cruelty, the annual slaughter of thousands of healthy dogs, the practice of live baiting, and genetic loading of the greyhounds in an attempt to make them run faster and faster, which results in them having muscular skeletal problems that are bred into every greyhound in the industry. Frankensteins of greyhounds are being created like broiler meat chickens.

    Animal doping and widespread abuse of prohibited substances can now be added to the list. Since 2010, 321 investigations of misconduct by registered trainers and owners in the greyhound industry have commenced. Almost 70 per cent of those investigations relate to the use of drugs and other prohibited substances in the greyhound racing industry. In some of the cases where criminal guilt has been established, the substances used on greyhounds are illicit drugs of addiction that cause problems in families in Australia, including cocaine, morphine, crystal meth, or ice, and amphetamines and speed. Throughout the investigations 203 people have been found guilty of drug abuse and using prohibited substances in the New South Wales greyhound racing industry alone. Greyhound Racing NSW currently has 43 open inquiries and investigations where laboratories have evidence of prohibited substances being used. Cumulatively, 20 per cent of those admissions of guilt and the independent evidence of prohibited substance abuse have occurred in the New South Wales greyhound racing industry. This has become apparent after looking only at 27 per cent of the material that has become available for public scrutiny.

    The documents that have been procured led to aFour Corners story being aired in February last year. As Greyhound Racing NSW and its members were preparing for the aftermath of that program being broadcast, it was recommended that those who were up to their eyeballs in criminal activity should seek refuge and solace at News Limited. It was made clear that that is who they should turn to when trying to find a way of digging themselves out of the unacceptable situation of being embroiled in criminality. The other recommendation was to go to Ray Hadley at 2GB. They were the two avenues that were specifically recommended for people to use to protect themselves from having to answer to the community about whether they have a social licence to undertake activities in the greyhound industry. [Time expired.]

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