Hundreds of Australian greyhounds deemed as well slow for Australian racing by their trainers and owners have been exported to Asia, in breach of racing rules, where they are languishing in shocking circumstances.
The greyhound regulator is so concerned about the welfare of the dogs that it has lobbied the Federal Government for practically a decade to finish the trade, but the calls have fallen on deaf ears.
An exclusive six month investigation by 7.30, combined with evidence gathered by Animals Australia in Macau, China and Vietnam, has identified dozens of Australian trainers and owners who have exported their dogs to Asia.
While not illegal, the export of greyhounds with no the required passport is against the guidelines of racing.
Penalties consist of fines and disqualification from the sport.
Animals Australia campaign director Lyn White said that conditions for greyhounds in Macau are abhorrent.
“For those dogs it really is a death sentence, it is a straight out death sentence,” Ms White told 7.30.
“The conditions are awful, it really is prison-like, barren cells, and in fact it really is like becoming exported to an additional country and put on death row.”
Australian dogs are racing around the clock at the former Portuguese colony’s dilapidated track recognized as the Canidrome, and are routinely sustaining injuries, with a disturbing one hundred per cent euthanasia rate.
The Australian greyhounds are flown to Hong Kong and then ferried to Macau, exactly where they are locked inside the Canidrome facility.
The facility is positioned in the middle of 1 of the most densely populated cities in the planet.
As a lot of as 800 dogs are housed at the Canidrome, with racing held five nights a week on a track that is too tough.
The Government’s reluctance to act on business and neighborhood concerns risks adverse welfare outcomes for exported greyhounds and threatens Australia’s standing as a robust advocate for animal welfare
Greyhounds Australasia chief executive Scott Parker
Month-to-month shipments of up to 30 Australian greyhounds assist to replace the underperforming dogs that are regularly euthanased at the facility.
7.30 has found other greyhounds are auctioned off weekly at over-inflated prices to unknown Asian investors.
The Canidrome track began an adoption program for unwanted dogs in 2012, but according to animal activists in Macau the program has only saved 4 greyhounds.
Albano Martins, who runs Macau’s major animal welfare groups, Anima, stated the adoption plan is a sham and that the Australian dogs that end up at the Canidrome are not protected by any animal welfare laws.
“How can Australia export animals to Macau being aware of that Macau has no animal welfare laws for protecting them?” Mr Martens stated.
“They know that the animals are killed on typical one per day, only because the animals are not competitive, and there is no adoption program for them.”
“Even soon after 4 years of fighting against the ban they had been not in a position to place much more than 4 animals for adoption.”
Australian ‘reluctant to act on industry’
Mr Martins stated he has written to the Australian consulate in Hong Kong and urged them to finish the export of Australian animals to Macau.
“What I want the folks in Australia to know is that young animals go to Macau and they are killed with no option to be adopted,” Mr Martins stated.
In Australia [if your dogs] don’t run rapid sufficient and you cannot maintain feed[ing] them, so you sell those dogs by means of those brokers.
Dr Wu Sung Hu
“I also want the Australian folks to tell the Government that that is a shame. I am a Western guy and I really feel ashamed with such a predicament.”
Greyhounds Australasia (GA) and Animals Australia have both repeatedly lobbied the Federal Government and Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce to legislate against the trade, but the Minister has not acted.
Greyhounds Australasia chief executive Scott Parker declined to be interviewed by 7.30 but in statement named on the Federal Government to finish the live export of Australian greyhounds.
“The Government’s reluctance to act on market and neighborhood concerns risks adverse welfare outcomes for exported greyhounds and threatens Australia’s standing as a powerful advocate for animal welfare,” Mr Parker stated.
“GA remains committed to in search of a Federal Government regulatory resolution that improves greyhound welfare outcomes and acknowledges the assistance of RSPCA Australia and other animal welfare groups in attaining that outcome.”
Numerous Australian suppliers involved in export
In June final year the industry’s peak body, Greyhounds Australasia, was so concerned about the welfare of dogs exported to Macau that it stopped issuing what are identified as “greyhound passports” for dogs destined for the Asian city.
Below national racing guidelines, greyhound owners and trainers should get a passport for their dogs ahead of they are shipped overseas.
Trainers and owners caught breaching the export rule face fines and disqualification from the sport.
But 7.30 has found that the flow of dogs to Macau has continued unabated.
In a covertly recorded interview with Animals Australia investigators, the Canidrome’s chief vet Dr Wu Sung Hu detailed how the dogs are sourced from Australian brokers.
“We have 4 suppliers from Australia and we get the dogs from them monthly,” Dr Wu told the investigators, who were posing as prospective suppliers to the track.
“In Australia [if your dogs] don’t run swift enough and you cannot keep feed[ing] them, so you sell those dogs through these brokers.
“They get these dogs and sell [them] to Macau.”
In a disturbing twist, Dr Wu also told investigators he had recently visited Australia and had witnessed the illegal practice of live baiting occurring in Perth.
In a statement to 7.30, a spokesman for Mr Joyce stated the Government did not believe that adopting the regulators program of imposing greyhound passports would have any effect on animal welfare.
Subjects: federal-government, animal-welfare, animals, sport, china, australia, hong-kong, vietnam