Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Change Coming to Australian Dog Racing Industry

Over the last two days, GREY2K USA Worldwide President Christine Dorchak and I held a series of key meetings in Melbourne, Australia, during the second leg of our campaign trek through Australasia and China.
We Meet With the Excellent Animals Australia Team

First, we held a comprehensive strategy meeting with powerhouse humane organization Animals Australia. In many ways Animals Australia reminds me of our key British ally, the League Against Cruel Sports. It is clever, committed, and not afraid to take on a tough fight. The work Animals Australia is doing for greyhounds is one of the most significant new developments in the global fight to end dog racing.

We then met with several top officials from RSPCA Australia, a national non-profit organization that is widely respected and speaks with a powerful voice in advocating for Australian greyhounds.

These visits were followed by a series of meetings with top representatives from the Australian greyhound racing industry, including Greyhounds Australasia CEO Scott Parker. We had a very open conversation, a stark contrast to the bunker mentality we experienced in New Zealand, and have witnessed for years in America. During nearly four hours of talks, it became clear that industry executives in Australia are fully aware that commercial dog racing is out of step with mainstream values on animal welfare, and fundamental changes are necessary.

After these industry talks, we received an informative briefing on the Australian political system from leaders of the Animals Justice Party. The Party recently won its first parliamentary seat, and will no doubt lead the passage of major humane victories in the years to come.

Carey Theil and Scott Parker After Hours of Industry Talks
Finally, we had dinner with the Greyhound Equality Society and Amazing Greys Greyhound Rescue and Adoption. The Greyhound Equality Society is doggedly fighting to repeal a wrongheaded requirement that all adopted greyhounds be muzzled in public, a victory that seems inevitable. Meanwhile, Amazing Greys is doing incredible work helping to find homes for rescued greyhounds, with an all-volunteer effort. This meeting provided us with invaluable insights about greyhound adoption in Victoria, and was a wonderful end to our time in Melbourne.

Even though we have only been in the country for a few days, it is breathtaking to see how many different people are working to improve the lives of greyhounds. Mainstream animal protection groups, adoption advocates, political parties and even the industry itself all recognize that the status quo cannot continue, and greyhounds deserve better. Based on these meetings, I am more confident than ever that fundamental changes are on the way Down Under.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for visiting Australia & speaking up for such a gentle loving breed who deserve so much better lives. Keep up the good work.