‘Moral conundrum’: sending retired Australian greyhounds to US rescues some – however at what price? | Greyhound racing

Rory Goree with his greyhound, Volodya.

Three weeks in the past Arizona man Rory Goree took residence his forty seventh greyhound up to now 30 years – his first from Australia.

The greyhound, who’s now named Volodya, as soon as raced in Victoria, one of many few locations on the earth the place greyhound racing remains to be authorized.

“I’ve been so concerned with greyhounds for therefore a few years that if there’s a greyhound in want, I’m going to assist in giving them a house,” says Goree, who previously labored within the trade.

With a scarcity of native houses for retired racing canine, Australia’s greyhounds are more and more being despatched to the US, the place they’re adopted as pets. However animal rights advocates warn that sending greyhounds abroad is a Band-Support answer.

“It’s saving a greyhound life, but additionally it’s sustaining the longevity of Australia’s racing trade,” Amber Beilharz of Gumtree Greys, a greyhound rescue charity which operates in Australia’s japanese states, says.

Since 2019, the volunteer-run charity Racing 2 Rehome has despatched 122 greyhounds to the US, thanks partly to funding from Greyhound Racing Victoria (GRV). Now Greyhound Racing New South Wales (GRNSW) has adopted swimsuit, sending eight greyhounds to the US on the finish of January, with plans to ship eight extra quickly.

“We now have been very cautious about setting it up,” Robert Macaulay, chief govt of GRNSW, says. “My mantra is that the end result have to be equal or higher than the welfare end result in the event that they had been rehomed in NSW.

“The way it works is successfully a match-making service to verify the greyhounds are properly suited to the potential proprietor and are positioned in the correct houses.”

In response to Coalition for the Safety of Greyhounds, Australia is one among solely seven nations on the earth that also have a business greyhound racing trade. That features the US, the place there are actually solely three lively race tracks left.

The trade regulator for NSW mentioned it helps any adoption avenues that enable retired or unraced greyhounds to be rehomed, and added that any greyhounds rehomed outdoors Australia require a greyhound passport to make sure they aren’t being despatched to a rustic with low welfare requirements.

Rory Goree with his greyhound, Volodya.
Rory Goree together with his greyhound, Volodya: ‘We want to verify we’re doing it for the correct purpose – that we’re not doing it simply to make the trade look good.’ {Photograph}: Kathy Hoynes-Goreé

In response to the newest report by the regulator monitoring the life cycle of greyhounds, 1,352 greyhounds retired over the 2021-2022 monetary yr.

The report discovered the variety of greyhounds accessible for rehoming – normally these round 4 years previous – had elevated, however the variety of locations to rehome them hadn’t saved tempo.

Bec Miller, president of Racing 2 Rehome, says if houses weren’t being sought within the US for the canine, it’s probably the greyhounds would wait longer in kennels to be rehomed.

“It will possibly fluctuate how lengthy it takes as a result of it’s all about discovering the correct residence,” she says. “We used to say the gorgeous feminine greyhounds could be gone actually fast, nevertheless it’s taking longer now and that’s throughout the board.”

However Joanne Lee, spokesperson for the Coalition for the Protection of Greyhounds, says sending greyhounds to the US isn’t a long-term answer.

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She says Australia’s greyhound racing trade is breeding six occasions the variety of canine it has the capability to rehome, and stricter breeding caps must be put in place to cease the issue at its supply.

In response to the trade regulator, the Greyhound Welfare and Integrity Fee, there was an 11% lower in pups born in NSW in comparison with earlier years, however 316 extra greyhounds raced in 2021-2022 in comparison with three years in the past.

The distinction is probably going on account of the truth that greyhounds racing right now had been born two years in the past, but additionally the variety of greyhounds that go on to have a racing profession has elevated.

Nat Panzarino, who runs an animal shelter in Sydney, says she’s feeling the impression of the rise.

“There are 200 trainers and house owners on our ready listing that wish to give up their canine into our care, and that’s rising day by day,” she says.

Gumtree Greys’ Beilharz mentioned the group’s rescuers are dealing with comparable challenges. Regardless that rehoming some canine within the US would relieve the stress, she stays sceptical.

“It’s a little bit of an moral conundrum for me personally,” Beilharz says.

Goree says so long as there are greyhounds in Australia that may’t be homed, then sending them to the US is constructive.

“I believe the place the issue lies is we’d like to verify we’re doing it for the correct purpose – that we’re not doing it simply to make the trade look good.”