The Tasmanian Government has again committed to keeping the state’s greyhound racing sector afloat after the Greens attempted to move a motion to end the industry.
A Greens motion calling on the State Government to follow the lead of New South Wales and the ACT and shut down greyhound racing was voted down in the Lower House on Wednesday night.
Greens MP Andrea Dawkins said revelations last week that 1,600 greyhounds in Tasmania had been killed in three years was further evidence of cruelty in the industry.
She also had doubts about a Tasracing promise to re-home all racing greyhounds unless there were health or behavioural reasons for not doing so.
“The Greyhound Adoption Program (GAP) has suggested 100 per cent of greyhounds can be re-homed, well if that is the case, why weren’t they?” she asked.
“What made them unsuitable to be re-homed and what’s going to change now to make those unsuitable dogs now suitable?
“Either they always were or they never will be — there’s no way it can be both.”
Ms Dawkins accused the Government of “rolling over” to an industry that receives taxpayer dollars.
Racing Minister Jeremy Rockliff told Parliament the industry’s problems were well publicised, but it deserved the right to reform.
“In the past 12 months, significant progress has been made to address this,” he said.
“The Government believes firmly that the industry deserves the right to reform.
“The Tasmanian Government will not close down the greyhound racing industry, the industry has not shied away from the problems that have been highlighted, it is making every single effort to address them.”
Labor also voted against the motion, with shadow treasurer Scott Bacon telling Parliament it pre-empted the findings of a parliamentary committee investigating greyhound racing, due to report in September.
Tasracing already working on report recommendations
Tasracing said it was already implementing 84 per cent of recommendations in the report that led New South Wales to close its industry.
The report made 79 recommendations for the NSW sector if it was to continue operating.
Tasracing said 66 per cent of those had already been addressed and another 18 per cent would be addressed.
Interim chief executive Mark Tarring said the remaining recommendations related specifically to NSW legislation or were not applicable to Tasmania.
“From the outset, Tasracing has said it was unfair to draw comparisons between the industry in NSW and in Tasmania because they are very different,” he said.
“The Tasmanian industry has introduced a number of reforms over the past five years with animal welfare issues a significant considerations.”