Live export – Can you think of a more unethical, foul, government sanctioned industry in Australia? That’s how I started the last blog post. Since then, Australians have cast their votes, those votes are still being counted, and we are waiting to hear who will form our next government.
Nothing has changed in the live export industry. With the LNP expected to win the election, I expect animal live exporters to continue their cruel trade.
But a similarly cruel industry has seen progress for the animals: Two days ago, NSW Premier Mike Baird announced a ban on greyhound racing after a Special Commission tabled a damning report.
Australia is one of a handful of countries with a commercial greyhound racing industry. This is problematic not only for reasons of animal welfare but also because greyhound racing is part of the gambling industry.
Last year, Animals Australia documented the extent of taxpayer-funded support for the industry. Breeding incentives, infrastructure and events grants add up to millions of dollars.
A Productivity Commission review estimated the total social cost of problem gambling to be at least $4.7 billion a year. And a 2014 Price Waterhouse Coopers report concluded that the NSW racing industry is a ‘consumptive sector’, and doesn’t ‘generate any significant productivity benefits to the rest of the economy’.
In summary, the greyhound racing industry is a government-supported unproductive industry that involves cruelty to animals and problem gambling harm to individuals and communities. What madness! Surely, other states will have to follow suit to ban this industry Australia-wide.