Up to 20,000 greyhounds in New South Wales are at risk of a death sentence, after the state government decided to ban the sport on cruelty grounds.
Long plagued by repeated instances extreme cruelty, including live baiting and dogs being killed before their time, the controversial industry now faces disposing of many thousands of dogs. Those that can't be sent interstate for racing, or rehomed as family pets could end up being put down. And that could amount to a vast number, warns Australian Veterinary Association vice-president, Dr David Neck.
'It is counter-intuitive - they are shutting down the industry to stop the euthanasing of dogs but that shutdown could result in a greater number of euthanasia of greyhounds,' he told the Daily Mail.
He further described the decision to halt the industry as 'flaky', telling the Daily Telegraph, 'If it involves euthanasia then it has achieved the very thing it was set out to stop, and that’s what the vets are concerned about.'
However the RSPCA is fully supporting the decision to axe the scandal-plagued industry, and wants a complete national ban. They are also asking people to think about opening their homes to at-risk hounds.
'I can only hope this (decision) reverberates around the country because the only way to stop live baiting is to end greyhound racing,' RSPCA NSW chief executive Steve Coleman told the paper.
The organisation is providing information for those wanting to adopt or foster a greyhound on their website.
The NSW government has dictated that the industry must shut down in Australia's most populous state by 1 July, 2017.