Today Abigail has condemned the Government's weasel words on greyhound whole-of-life tracking.
(1) That this House notes the announcement from the Minister for Hospitality and Racing on 16 June 2022 that ‘a world first whole of life e-tracking system to monitor the location and welfare of all greyhounds registered in NSW is now underway’, and further notes that:
(a) eTrac, the e-tracking system operated by the Greyhound Welfare & Integrity Commission (GWIC), will cease to track greyhounds once transferred from the ownership of registered industry participants,
(b)On the day that the Government backflipped on the greyhound racing ban in October 2016, they committed to introducing ‘whole-of-life dog cycle management’,
(c) in his second reading speech for the Greyhound Racing Bill 2017, in response to concerns about missing greyhounds unable to be accounted for by the industry, the then-Minister for Racing Paul Toole stated that the Bill would ‘enable the commission to implement whole-of-lifecycle tracking for every greyhound that enters and exits the industry’ despite the Bill not explicitly allowing for whole-of-life tracking,
(d) in January 2020 the then-CEO of the Greyhound Welfare & Integrity Commission Judy Lind admitted in a letter published by Crikey that ‘when greyhounds are sold, retired, or given away to members of the public who are not industry participants, the Commission has no lawful right to intervene in any way in relation to those dogs’, and
(e) no change to the Greyhound Racing Act 2017 has occurred that would allow the tracking of a greyhound for the remainder of its life once its ownership is transferred away from a registered industry participant.
(2) That this House notes with concern that:
(a) the McHugh Special Commission of Inquiry into Greyhound Racing in NSW found that around 5,500 healthy greyhounds were being killed every single year in the twelve years prior to the Inquiry in NSW alone, and that 80,000 greyhounds were simply missing, presumably dead,
(b) according to the GWIC 2020-2021 Annual Report, 229 greyhounds, comprising 16% of greyhounds retired in the 2020-2021 financial year, were transferred out of the racing industry by the owner or trainer directly and into the hands of people not directly involved in the industry, with the transfer not taking place through the Greyhound As Pets program, companion animal rehoming services (eg. RSPCA or pounds), or private or community greyhound rehoming programs,
(c) according to the GWIC 2019-2020 Annual Report, 239 greyhounds, comprising 17% of greyhounds retired in the 2019-2020 financial year, were transferred out of the racing industry by the owner or trainer directly and into the hands of people not directly involved in the industry,
(d) analysis by the Coalition for the Protection of Greyhounds shows that up to 2,149 greyhounds disappeared in the 2019-2020 financial year, not including those 239 dogs privately transferred to industry non-participants, and GWIC has admitted 190 greyhounds are ‘potentially unaccounted for’ in 2019-2020, and
(e) in 2018, two years after the greyhound racing ban, a mass grave of nine greyhounds was uncovered by the RSPCA on the property of a registered greyhound trainer in Sydney’s west.
(3) That this House affirms that:
(a) the phrase ‘whole of life’ means the whole of one’s life, and
(b) the use of the phrase ‘whole of life’ to describe eTrac is misleading and disingenuous as GWIC is only empowered to track greyhounds up until they’re transferred out of the ownership of industry participants.
(4) That this House condemns the NSW Government for:
(a) failing to meet their 2017 commitment to introduce whole of life tracking, and
(b) claiming that the eTrac system is a whole of life tracking system.
(5) That this House calls on the NSW Government to amend the Greyhound Racing Act 2017 to allow GWIC to track greyhounds for their whole life, including after they are transferred out of the ownership of industry participants, in line with the Greens’ Greyhound Racing Amendment (Whole-of-life Tracking) Bill 2021.