Intensive greyhound breeding facility approved despite major animal welfare concerns

July 20, 2018

Serious animal welfare concerns expressed by RSPCA South Australia over a proposed intensive 150-dog greyhound breeding facility have today been ignored by The Rural City of Murray Bridge.

The council this morning voted to approve the development at Ferries McDonald Road, Monarto South, despite objections made in writing and in person by RSPCA South Australia over the past nine months.

RSPCA South Australia Animal Welfare Advocate Dr Rebekah Eyers had called for the application to be rejected based on the significant and entrenched problems that still exist within South Australia’s greyhound racing industry.

She expressed disappointment in Council’s failure to consider animal welfare implications during its development assessment process.

“This is an industry that is struggling to meet its reduced animal ‘wastage’ targets and increase its rehoming targets. We believe this development is the last thing the South Australian greyhound industry needs at this time,” Dr Eyers said.

In a written submission made to The Rural City of Murray Bridge last October, Dr Eyers outlined a range of animal welfare concerns, saying the facility would likely:

  • Exacerbate greyhound overbreeding and oversupply – meaning more healthy but surplus dogs will be euthanased or killed because they are ‘not suitable for racing’ (too slow).
  • Create an intensive breeding environment that negatively impacts on dog health, leaving many poorly socialised and less likely to be successfully rehomed post-racing.
  • Impact on the community’s finite capacity to adopt dogs – it is unlikely the community can adopt all dogs produced and then rejected by intensive breeding facilities.
  • Struggle to comply with SA’s new Standards and Guidelines for Breeding and Trading Companion Animals.

RSPCA South Australia also made an in-person presentation to a council meeting earlier this year.

“We are very disappointed in the council’s decision to today allow this facility to go ahead. In our submissions, we had appealed to the corporate social responsibility of Council to consider the ethical implications of such a development.

“However, animal welfare was considered to be outside the scope of the planning system (which considered matters such as noise, visual amenity, waste management), and was thus not considered in the decision making process.

“While we acknowledge that Greyhound Racing South Australia has made some improvements in its statistics transparency and rehoming initiatives, we believe a new intensive breeding and training facility will only exacerbate existing greyhound welfare problems and should not have been approved.”

Concerned South Australians can voice their opposition to greyhound racing via RSPCA South Australia’s website: www.rspcasa.org.au/issues/greyhounds

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