Greyhounds are gentle dogs who would usually prefer to have a snooze on the couch if given the choice between exercising or sleeping. Sadly, these dogs are primarily regarded as a commercial resource and so when they race, too often they are running for their lives. If not up to speed – literally – these gentle animals very often pay the ultimate price.
Find on this page:
Overbreeding and wastage
A greyhound's racing "life"
What happens after racing?
New greyhound tracks
Animal Liberation Queensland Position
What are we doing?
What you can do?
The greyhound racing industry is a breeding lottery for the fastest dog, with little regulatory efforts to curb breeding numbers; in fact, there are incentives in place such as increased breeders' bonuses. The overbreeding and the limited capacity for rehoming greyhounds is a key animal welfare concern.
Based on available industry data, about 17,000 to 18,000 greyhounds are killed in Australia (including named and unnamed dogs) each year due to underperformance, being non-chasers, injuries sustained during racing or as surplus dogs at the end of their short racing careers.
Greyhounds sustain injuries as a result of training and racing. Steward reports regularly include musculoskeletal injuries, including serious bone fractures and other types of injuries such as seizures (due to lack of oxygen) and cardiac arrests. Injuries necessitate suspension from racing, which has financial implications for owners/trainers. Many trainers will have dogs euthanased for economic reasons, despite having treatable injuries.
Off the track, their lives aren’t any better. Greyhounds are considered working dogs in sport for the purpose of animal welfare standards and are not afforded the same legal protection as companion animals. They are kenneled for most of the time when they aren't racing and are often kept muzzled.
Greyhounds’ racing careers usually end some time between 3 to 5 years of age. Information about their post-racing lives is limited, and there is a similar lack of transparent information about the large number of dogs that never make it to the track. However, what is known anecdotally is that the limited post-racing options include surrender to adoption groups, rehoming via the “Greyhound as Pets” (GAP) program or, for the vast majority of dogs, euthanasia. Most dogs euthanased are aged between 3 and 5 years and advice provided from Brisbane veterinarians and veterinary nurses supports this. Some veterinarians report euthanasing up to 5 healthy greyhounds daily.
Live baiting refers to the illegal practice of using live animals for the purpose of training (or "blooding") greyhounds. Investigations by Animal Liberation Queensland and Animals Australia reveal that live baiting is widespread and considered an acceptable training technique amongst dozens of Australian greyhound trainers. Investigators revealed footage of possums, piglets and rabbits being tied to mechanical lures before trainers released dogs to chase and ultimately wound, if not maul to death, the defenceless and terrified animals. Trainers were also documented tying up live rabbits to taunt dogs for training and breaking-in procedures. This cruelty was documented by Animal Liberation Qld in Queensland, and Animals Australia in New South Wales and Victoria and the investigations were aired on Four Corners on 16th February 2015. It exposed rampant live baiting in the greyhound racing industry.
The Queensland Government is currently supporting the development of a new $40 in Ipswich. Voice your opposition to this new proposed track today.
ALQ is currently campaigning to stop this track going ahead and working alongside several other animal protection groups.
We previously campaigned with the local community in Logan to stop the Logan track and we were successful!
Find out more about the previous campaign to stop the Logan track here.
ALQ is opposed to the use of greyhounds in racing because of significant animal welfare issues. Greyhounds are bred specifically to race and the industry is profit-driven so this places potential financial gains over the welfare of the animals. Greyhounds often suffer injury, pain and distress as a result of racing and the absence of independent oversight of the industry further intensifies our concerns. ALQ also has concerns regarding gambling and the associated financial and family burdens. We also believe that this industry should not be subsidised by the government nor supported by business and we are strongly opposed to the construction and expansion of racing tracks. ALQ supports a ban on greyhound racing in Australia.
- Animal Liberation Qld, alongside Animals Australia, uncovered widespread "live baiting" within the Australian greyhound racing industry. The footage was aired on Four Corners on 16 February 2015.
- On 19 February 2015 we launched greyhoundcruelty.com web site with Animals Australia and GREY2K USA Worldwide to further expose "live baiting" and pressure sponsors and the government to take action.
- We successfully led a campaign against the greyhound track at Slacks Creek, Logan. The campaign has received much media attention and raised the profile of greyhound racing issues in Queensland, especially in the Logan area. In late 2021, a PCYC was officially opened at this site instead - a great win for the local community and the animals.
- We have produced a greyhound brochure to educate the public. Download brochure (PDF - 461 kb).
- We created a community service announcement in 2014 to educate people about the racing industry.
- We continue to investigate and expose the cruelty and waste of life associated with this industry.
- Contact your MP to oppose the construction of the proposed $39 million new greyhound track at Ipswich.
- Join us in calling on the Queensland government to ban greyhound racing here.
- Never bet on greyhound racing. The industry is driven by financial gain so ongoing profits means ongoing cruelty to dogs.
- Learn about the true nature of greyhounds and consider adopting one of these beautiful animals.
- Download our greyhound brochure and educate friends and family.
- Find out about what happens to greyhounds exported from Australia to Macau and the campaign to close the Canidrome (Sep 2015).
- Check out our other articles and news related to our greyhound racing campaign.