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Australian Greyhounds in catalogue of abuse

GREYHOUNDS IN Australia are facing lives of great brutality and are being killed in barbaric ways once their usefulness as racers is over.

The brutal live burial of a greyhound near Hobart has prompted a campaign to ban greyhound racing in Australia.The campaign group Greyhound Action claim the incident highlights the dark side of a sport that breeds and discards up to 15,000 dogs a year in Australia, with similar amounts of dogs facing destruction in New Zealand.

The Tasmanian RSPCA is investigating the gruesome case that has shocked Australia. The greyhound was heard whimpering in bushland four weeks ago. It was found buried under a sheet of tin and rock with its ear cut off to remove registration tattoos. The dog was in such a poor state that it was later put to sleep. Other greyhound remains were found at the bushland dumping ground.

Tasmanian RSPCA's chief animal welfare officer Graeme Lewis said that he was confident the dog's owner could be traced through DNA testing and tattoos found on the dog's remaining ear.

The racing industry's governing body, Greyhounds Australasia, vigorously denied the accusations of barbarity and said the industry was appalled by the Hobart incident.

Greyhounds Australasia chief executive Geoff O'Connor said claims of laboratory experiments and abuse after exportation to Asia lacked evidence. While the Australian Quarantine Inspection Service did not keep figures on the number of greyhounds sent to Asia, O'Connor said his organisation had instituted its own passport system to make dog exporters "more accountable".

Despite the appalling catalogue of cruelty and abuse, there has not, until quite recently, been any organisation in Australia concentrating its efforts on protecting greyhounds.

Just recently, however, Greyhound Action’s international section has been successful in setting up a branch of Greyhound Action in Australia, which carried out its first demonstration against the greyhound racing industry in Melbourne quite recently.

The Australian anti-greyhound racing movement is only very small at present and a big effort needs to be made to recruit more supporters.

Cheques, postal orders and money orders should be made payable to Greyhound Action International and sent to Greyhound Action International, Australia Appeal, PO Box 127, Kidderminster, DY10 3UZ.

Website: www.greyhoundaction.org.uk

More info can be found on the Australia section of Greyhound Action’s international website at: www.greyhoundaction.org.uk/ iaustraliaintro.html