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Govt not leaping out of box to appoint a greyhound racing inspector

A fourth greyhound has died on South Australian racetracks this year, prompting fresh calls for the state government to follow through on its commitment to appoint an independent racing inspector.

Apr 18, 2024, updated Apr 18, 2024
Photo: AAP

Photo: AAP

Greyhound Racing SA has reported that a greyhound was euthanised after suffering an injury during a race in Mount Gambier on April 11, with two deaths in March following racing at Gawler, and another in February after a race at Angle Park.

A report released in December 2023 by former Victorian police commissioner Graham Ashton concluded there was “urgent need for the greyhound racing industry in South Australia to reform”.

The state government accepted the report’s 86 recommendations and said it expected to appoint a “Greyhound Industry Reform Inspector” around Easter this year.

No inspector has yet been appointed, but the state government said the process was “well advanced”.

“The Government will make an announcement in due course,” a spokesperson said.

Greens MLC Tammy Franks said an inspector was the “most crucial recommendation of the Ashton inquiry”.

“Without this, the industry will continue to harm animals and corruption and maladministration will be rife,” she said.

“The Malinauskas Government have failed at the first hurdle… [they are] abetting animal cruelty through their inaction and complacency.”

There have been 33 greyhound racing deaths around Australia this year. Photo: AAP / Joe Aston

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The Coalition for the Protection of Greyhounds said that 33 greyhounds had died racing nationally so far this year, after more than 300 deaths and 11,604 injuries in 2023.

Besides the four SA deaths so far in 2024, 244 injuries have been recorded, it said.

Coalition SA spokesperson Elle Trahair called for action to address the “heart-breaking truth of the immense suffering experienced by greyhounds in South Australia”.

“The urgent call to address the profound animal welfare concerns outlined in this review reflects the imperative to dismantle the current framework sustaining such exploitation,” she said.

As reported in InDaily in December, greyhound race betting provides significant tax revenue to the government, with the betting operations tax bringing in an estimated $82 million to government coffers in 2022/23.

A report delivered last December said the greyhound racing industry had two years for significant reform. Stock photo: Greyhound Racing Victoria / AAP

Speaking after the Ashton report was handed down, Premier Peter Malinauskas said the government had a “responsibility” to accept the recommendation.

“It would be an awful shame if this industry was no longer able to operate because a number of operators weren’t willing to clean up their act,” he said.

“But I’m optimistic. We’ve got two years from the establishment of the inspector for (the industry) to start to demonstrate its capacity to implement many of these recommendations and get itself on a path of integrity and transparency and better animal welfare.”

Shadow sport, recreation and racing minister Vincent Tarzia joined the call for action, saying Malinauskas “must reveal when the 86 recommendations will be complete to ensure appropriate industry reform”.

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