Skip to content Skip to main navigation

Opinion

Expert strata, facilities & building management services

Gone to the dogs: Greyhound racing ban necessary

By John Hargreaves 18 July 2016 37

greyhound 2
It seems as though the community out there is a bit divided about the banning of greyhound racing in Canberra.

The weird thing is that the ACT Labor Government is taking the lead from the NSW Liberal Government and the NSW Labor Opposition is opposing that ban. I’m still waiting to find out what the local Libs position is. Maybe I missed something.

How we all reeled back in horror at the thought of live baiting to train the dogs to chase in a circle! The outrage was genuine and sustained. Then it kind of petered out.

I’m the pollie who was behind the banning of fireworks in Canberra, for those who don’t know. The reasons were that the fireworks were not the gunpowder of old but significant explosives, some in the industry here were involved in criminal activity, there was significant damage to persons and property and real time damage and death to animals, both domestic and native.

So, from that perspective, I was always going to be a supporter of banning any sport which has any element of animal cruelty attached to it. And yes, I have problems with horse racing, be it the gallops or harness racing. I am also a big supporter of banning circus animals, exotic or otherwise.

But I do try to have an objective look at the developments when something like this arises. Hard as it is.

On the one hand we have the ‘cruelty to animals’ perspective. These animals are bred to entertain us. We all go soft and mushy when entertained by animals, be they elephants doing tricks, or little cute furry things being cute. But we recoil from the reminder of the old days when human freaks populated the travelling shows around the country. The dwarfs, the bearded ladies, the conjoined twins. We don’t see this stuff anymore so why should we let the exploitation of defenceless animals continue? We have banned exotic animals in circuses in the ACT, so why stop there?

On the other hand, racing is a big business enterprise with many people earning a living off its back. As an aside though, I was told (and you have to be able to check these things and I couldn’t verify it) that most of the trainers whose dogs run around the track in the ACT come from elsewhere. I would imagine that horse racing is much the same though, so the impact of banning the sports here would have a greater impact in NSW than here.

I do wonder, and if anyone has information on this out there I’d be glad of it, just how many people in the ACT are reliant on the dog racing industry for their bread and butter as against those whose involvement is part-time and any ban would be transient.

So any decision to support or not the ban should rest on the competition between animal welfare and the acquisition of profit. For mine, it is an easy choice.

On the political level, I am white hot angry at the NSW Labor Party for even thinking of opposing the ban. Foley and Dastyari should hang their heads in shame. And Andrew Barr should go it alone if the NSW Parliament knocks it back.

Incidentally, I have two cats and they are not entertainment media. Firstly, they are as entertaining as my kids were but secondly, they run the place here. My child bride and I are merely servants to their wants and needs.

My cat Andy had fireworks strapped to him and he was set on fire. He awoke in me the need to do something. The thought that he or Susie could be strapped to a revolving fence to entice a dog to chase them is abhorrent. To replace them with a rabbit is not on either.

greyhound 1

I am a carnivore an intend to stay that way, but I am opposed to anything which brings pain to animals, such as fireworks, live export, circus animal entertainment and dog and horse-racing.

Call me a sook if you want but there it is!

What’s Your opinion?


Please login to post your comments, or connect with
37 Responses to
Gone to the dogs: Greyhound racing ban necessary
Filter
Showing only Website comments
Order
Newest to Oldest
Oldest to Newst
ungruntled 4:30 pm 24 Jul 16

bringontheevidence said :

JC said :

Charlotte Harper said :

Hi John,

I agree with your comments about Greyhound racing. It is shocking that it has been able to continue for so long in this manner.

However I wish to comment on Andy your cat regarding the fireworks incident. I feel sorry for what happened to poor Andy. Whilst I do not condone the action that was done to your cat, have you ever considered other people/animals than your own and your influence that lead to the banning of fireworks.

Have you ever considered the other animals that are hurt from your cat Andy being outside? Like the wildlife or other cats?

Have you ever considered your neighbours – they may have put up with Andy defecating or urinating on their property?

I’m sure you can say, my cat Andy would never do any of these things, he is such a nice cat. But are you sure? And what about the other cat owners that would say the same thing about their cat?

How would you have felt, if we made a law banning all cat ownership from the ACT? A law made with little consideration for the wider public, only because of a few owners that believe that it is their cat’s right to be outside and do what they like at the peril of others. Does this sound similar to the ban on fireworks John?

(P.S. I own a cat, but I keep him indoors where he cannot harm/affect others.)

Andy spends most of his time in the sun inside. He’s 17 1/2 and would not be here if those thugs had a say.

And I did take advice from the RSPCA and Domestic Animal Services as well as horse owners and animal welfare advocates around the damage to domestic and native animals. All applauded the move.

So no answers to the actual questions raised above John? Why should you, or other cat owners, be able to have a cat wandering outside when they cause suffering to other animals, particularly native animals?

A minority of owners cause these problems, the government can’t possibly regulate, surely a ban is the only way?

And it’s hardly surprising that those advocates supported your move, did you think about the wider community, perhaps the 300k+ people who aren’t members of those groups or supporters of their beliefs? Seems like your care is very selective, mainly rotating around your own personal interests. The main problem with any authoritarian.

The answers are that the Govt of which I was a part introduced laws insisting on the de-sexing of cats, the microchipping of cats, and the cat containment regulations in suburbs bordering nature parks.

In relation to the discussion with the 300k population, I held discussions widely over a period of about 5 years, took advice form around the country, and investigated the claims of damage to humans, animals and property. I took advice on the constitution of the fireworks and the illegal activities around their manufacture and sales.

I am not going to engage in a discussion around fireworks any more because the reason for this OP was to stimulate a discussion around greyhound racing, greyhound welfare, and the horrors of what happens to so many dogs when they have outlived their usefulness. My reference to the fireworks was merely to show that I have been concerned about animal welfare for decades. Nothing more.

I take it that since you are vehemently opposed to my view that you support greyhound racing. As to horse racing or racing pigs, for that matter, I would be quite happy to see them all phased out.

I support individual freedoms and have an intense dislike of hypocrisy, hence I disagree with your opinion.

Your statements around regulation of domestic animals prove that governments can achieve reasonable results when they resist their instincts to immediately reach for the banhammer. If only you applied the same logic to areas in which you have no personal interest.

As far as I know, various governments & bodies have been trying to work with the greyhound racing industry for some time, but to no avail.

Therefore it is appropriate for government to act with a fairly heavy hand.

Maybe the people who should be feeling bad about the situation of government needing to be heavy handed are those people in the industry who turned a blind eye to those who were behaving badly & did not report them to the appropriate authorities.

As for horses, it is only a matter of time. Either they clean up their act or it will be their turn. It used to be ok to beat the living s..t out of your spouse & kids too, but we don’t think that’s all right anymore either.

chewy14 12:28 pm 22 Jul 16

TrevaQ said :

wildturkeycanoe said :

rommeldog56 said :

JC said :

Andy spends most of his time in the sun inside. He’s 17 1/2 and would not be here if those thugs had a say.

And I did take advice from the RSPCA and Domestic Animal Services as well as horse owners and animal welfare advocates around the damage to domestic and native animals. All applauded the move.

Too bad you didn’t listen to the VAST majority of ACT residents who didn’t applaud the move. We’ve come to expect that from ACT Labor.

Actually the number of people who vehemently supported t
he ban were twice the number who didn’t. I refer you to my speeches in the Assembly.

According to what, John? I suspect who you focussed your attention on in the lead up to the legislation being passed says more about the results you came up with than the results themselves say about the sentiment across the ACT. I’m willing to bet that if you actually polled the ACT residents, you’d get about a 70:30 ratio in favour of fireworks. Possibly higher.

I’ve lived in the ACT long enough to know how an ACT Labor government works; they make a decision about legislation, then they pretend to consult the community. That involves listening mainly to the people who agree with them. They find reasons to dismiss anyone who doesn’t agree, and then they pass the legislation regardless.

I don’t believe for one moment that you proposed the bill based on what the majority of the population wanted.

http://the-riotact.com/hargreaves-kills-fireworks-now/13419

This very website had a poll that was 79-21 for fireworks and against the author.

The idea that people who make submissions to parliamentary enquiries represent the views of the general populace is laughable.

Perhaps he should have banned himself?

HenryBG 12:02 am 22 Jul 16

Maya123 said :

John, so your enjoyment of having a pet cat is more important than other animals welfare?

The cognitive dissonance is off the charts here.

I guess we should be thankfull all we suffer these days from having authoritarians in our midst is the loss of our cracker night.

500 years ago, their urge to compel other people’s behaviour had far more sinister results. Ironically, they used to tie people to poles atop piles of flammable material….

HenryBG 11:25 pm 21 Jul 16

creative_canberran said :

So your children’s entertainment is more important than an animals welfare? I know I made the right decision after this.

Neither I, nor my children, set cats on fire. Your decision had made no difference to the zero amount of burning cats that we were responsible for, but eliminated the chance my children had for a bit of fireworks enjoyment for a couple of weeks every year.

HenryBG 11:24 pm 21 Jul 16

wildturkeycanoe said :

Actually the number of people who vehemently supported t
he ban were twice the number who didn’t. I refer you to my speeches in the Assembly.

That sounds like the US model of “democracy”, and it’s also why our compulsory voting system is so much better: those who aren’t so “vehement”, in our sytem, outweigh the nutters who are.

Unless you held a referendum on the issue, of course….

Masquara 6:17 pm 21 Jul 16

tens of thousands of TB foals?

Pull the other one. ..

10,000 in Australia alone, and that’s according to “industry insiders”, not the activists.

http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2012/s3632985.htm

Mysteryman 4:19 pm 21 Jul 16

wildturkeycanoe said :

rommeldog56 said :

JC said :

Andy spends most of his time in the sun inside. He’s 17 1/2 and would not be here if those thugs had a say.

And I did take advice from the RSPCA and Domestic Animal Services as well as horse owners and animal welfare advocates around the damage to domestic and native animals. All applauded the move.

Too bad you didn’t listen to the VAST majority of ACT residents who didn’t applaud the move. We’ve come to expect that from ACT Labor.

Actually the number of people who vehemently supported t
he ban were twice the number who didn’t. I refer you to my speeches in the Assembly.

According to what, John? I suspect who you focussed your attention on in the lead up to the legislation being passed says more about the results you came up with than the results themselves say about the sentiment across the ACT. I’m willing to bet that if you actually polled the ACT residents, you’d get about a 70:30 ratio in favour of fireworks. Possibly higher.

I’ve lived in the ACT long enough to know how an ACT Labor government works; they make a decision about legislation, then they pretend to consult the community. That involves listening mainly to the people who agree with them. They find reasons to dismiss anyone who doesn’t agree, and then they pass the legislation regardless.

I don’t believe for one moment that you proposed the bill based on what the majority of the population wanted.

waggamick 10:08 am 21 Jul 16

John…to maintain any consistency you then have to campaign against pigeon racing(another ‘working man’s sport)….pretty sure wastage would be huge there..and shut down the Canberra Zoo…a prime example of animal cruelty if there ever was one.

Masquara 9:51 pm 20 Jul 16

As to horse racing or racing pigs, for that matter, I would be quite happy to see them all phased out.

… but you aren’t prepared to lobby or post about phasing out horse-racing? Odd, because greyhound racing is the working-class sport. You really should be actively pursuing the thoroughbred “wastage” – it is extremely cruel.

carnardly 9:46 pm 20 Jul 16

JC said :

Totally agree. Horse racing “wastage” is many tens of thousands of foals and young horses a year. That industry needs animal welfarist attention as well

tens of thousands of TB foals? Pull the other one. Look at the stud book and see how many TB foals have actually been born in the last 5 years. It is nowhere NEAR ‘tens of thousands’.

and given those that refer to ‘wastage’ as ANY by product of racing, even a 30 yo TB that dies of natural causes, i’d be interested to see where that bow is drawn.

There are also no way to identify how many horses that may be TB are dogged each year. Samex and LPS can buy a ‘brown 15 hand horse’ at a sale. it may be identified as a ASB TB (who may or may not have raced), but it could also be a drought sale, fire sale or lack of feed sale. Unless each horse is brand checked and/or microchip recorded before it is bolted, AND that information is put back to the authorities, there is absolutely no way any solid evidence can be gathered about how many horses are sold as meat or for export markets.

That information simply isn’t gathered. And as for the 18,000 TB foals per year proudly recorded by the main opponents of racing, that is significantly more TB foals that are even born each year….

interesting that…

chewy14 8:39 pm 20 Jul 16

creative_canberran said :

John.Karl said :

“My cat Andy had fireworks strapped to him and he was set on fire.”

…but instead of banning people from setting cats on fire, you banned me and my children from enjoying fireworks.

“How we all reeled back in horror at the thought of live baiting to train the dogs to chase in a circle”.

…speak for yourself. I tend to reserve the word “horror” for more appropriate and less hyperbolic usage.

“…the horrors of what happens to so many dogs when they have outlived their usefulness. “

…again with that word “horror”. You mean they get put down?

It’s scary enough that people whose judgment is so clouded by emotion even get to vote, let alone get to make legislation that is aimed at curtailing others’ freedmons and enjoyment.

So your children’s entertainment is more important than an animals welfare? I know I made the right decision after this.

John, so your enjoyment of having a pet cat is more important than other animals welfare?

The cognitive dissonance is off the charts here.

John Hargreaves 8:35 pm 20 Jul 16

I refer bloggers to the picture at the beginning. Just look at the dog and look at the possum!

John Hargreaves 8:34 pm 20 Jul 16

rommeldog56 said :

JC said :

Andy spends most of his time in the sun inside. He’s 17 1/2 and would not be here if those thugs had a say.

And I did take advice from the RSPCA and Domestic Animal Services as well as horse owners and animal welfare advocates around the damage to domestic and native animals. All applauded the move.

Too bad you didn’t listen to the VAST majority of ACT residents who didn’t applaud the move. We’ve come to expect that from ACT Labor.

Actually the number of people who vehemently supported t
he ban were twice the number who didn’t. I refer you to my speeches in the Assembly.

John Hargreaves 8:31 pm 20 Jul 16

dungfungus said :

Hi John,

You still speak like a politician. You choose to sidestep tough issues that poeple raise and value your own opinions above others.

I particularly like your choice of words “show that I have been concerned about animal welfare for decades. Nothing more.” When you’ve admitted that your cat roams the streets whenever you want it to (maybe not now but in the 17 years beforehand). Again I state that I own a cat and support responsible cat ownership. The damage that cats can do on wildlife is disgusting and you have contributed to it. I also think the things that have happened to greyhounds is disgusting and our society should hang our heads in shame.

However I do think that the Gov’s approach to ban all racing in a State and in a Territory is very short sighted and is more than likely to result in more abusive treatment of these beautiful dogs. I note that you support this ban. Have you actually considered what will happen to 95% of these greyhounds that are in the NSW/ACT industry?

I’m hoping for a re-homing program and think the Govt should support it.

John Hargreaves 8:29 pm 20 Jul 16

John.Karl said :

“My cat Andy had fireworks strapped to him and he was set on fire.”

…but instead of banning people from setting cats on fire, you banned me and my children from enjoying fireworks.

“How we all reeled back in horror at the thought of live baiting to train the dogs to chase in a circle”.

…speak for yourself. I tend to reserve the word “horror” for more appropriate and less hyperbolic usage.

“…the horrors of what happens to so many dogs when they have outlived their usefulness. “

…again with that word “horror”. You mean they get put down?

It’s scary enough that people whose judgment is so clouded by emotion even get to vote, let alone get to make legislation that is aimed at curtailing others’ freedmons and enjoyment.

So your children’s entertainment is more important than an animals welfare? I know I made the right decision after this.

pajs 2:59 pm 20 Jul 16

dungfungus said :

Hi John,

You still speak like a politician. You choose to sidestep tough issues that poeple raise and value your own opinions above others.

I particularly like your choice of words “show that I have been concerned about animal welfare for decades. Nothing more.” When you’ve admitted that your cat roams the streets whenever you want it to (maybe not now but in the 17 years beforehand). Again I state that I own a cat and support responsible cat ownership. The damage that cats can do on wildlife is disgusting and you have contributed to it. I also think the things that have happened to greyhounds is disgusting and our society should hang our heads in shame.

However I do think that the Gov’s approach to ban all racing in a State and in a Territory is very short sighted and is more than likely to result in more abusive treatment of these beautiful dogs. I note that you support this ban. Have you actually considered what will happen to 95% of these greyhounds that are in the NSW/ACT industry?

There is a year before the ban comes into force, in which to see how many of the current crop of dogs can be rehomed. Even if this does not succeed, it will be the last period of mass killing of these dogs in NSW and the ACT (unless breeding and training there continues, linked to racing in other States). The alternative is the current hideous practice of slow or injured dogs being put down as ‘wastage’.

Have a read of this story, about a mass grave of gunshot and bludgeoned dogs put there at one site between 2009 and 2013, as an example of why this racing needs to be banned:
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-07-20/nsw-greyhound-racing-killings-hunter-valley-mass-grave/7644012

Mysteryman 2:51 pm 20 Jul 16

JC said :

Andy spends most of his time in the sun inside. He’s 17 1/2 and would not be here if those thugs had a say.

And I did take advice from the RSPCA and Domestic Animal Services as well as horse owners and animal welfare advocates around the damage to domestic and native animals. All applauded the move.

Too bad you didn’t listen to the VAST majority of ACT residents who didn’t applaud the move. We’ve come to expect that from ACT Labor.

Related Articles

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Top
Copyright © 2018 Riot ACT Holdings Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.
the-riotact.com | aboutregional.com.au | b2bmagazine.com.au | thisiscanberra.com

Search across the site