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Media Release 4/9/2023

Greyhound Adoption Program TAS: Will Roman Be Killed?

Animal Liberation Tasmania (ALT) have been made aware that Greyhound Adoption Program Tasmania (GAP Tas) have introduced night security ​guards at the Mangalore kennels, reporting to the current “acting” manager Susan Gittus (previously found guilty of the presence of a prohibited ​substance in a greyhound she trained). We are also informed that the cages of individual dogs have been padlocked, which has previously not been ​common practice.

The security guards have reportedly stated that their presence is due to “political unrest,” no doubt referring to the release of recent anonymously ​provided footage by our organisation, and the recent increase in public scrutiny of the greyhound racing industry. What is GAP Tas so concerned about ​the broader public seeing?

In March 2023, leaked Tasracing documents allegedly revealed plans by the new chief vet and “welfare” manager Dr. Martin Lenz to commence ​euthanising unwanted greyhounds who were not ready for adoption within an unreasonably short “rehabilitation” period. ABC News reported that some ​within the industry have become frustrated at adoption levels “not meeting expectations.” In the 2020–21 period, 81 dogs were adopted out, with the ​GAP Tas adoption centre receiving $900 000 in funding, according to the Legislative Council Government Business Scrutiny Committee B of 30 ​November 2022. This averages out to $11 000 per dog adopted.

ALT is aware of at least one dog who is at imminent risk of being killed and are deeply concerned that the sudden presence of security guards is an ​indicator that his time is up. Roman (racing name Roman Knows Best) has an unfortunate history that has resulted in his being almost permanently ​muzzled at the kennel. With an appropriate environment and behavioural plan, he could have a long and healthy life. Instead, he finds himself at risk of ​being killed through no fault of his own. We are also concerned for other dogs who, due to inappropriately addressed health issues, may likewise be at ​significant risk.

At a time when Tasracing is posting GAP TAS billboards across the state declaring that they “have it all” for racing dogs and retirement plans, to then ​read of these cases is abhorrent. Whilst there are many good people working within GAP programs across the country and many people have adopted ​their beloved greyhound through the program, GAP itself is nothing more than an exercise in humane washing, an expensive attempt at making the ​industry seem less exploitative and harmful in the public perception. And over the years, private rescues and sanctuaries have likewise carried the ​burden of greyhound racing “wastage,” without funding support and without being beholden to the racing industry itself.

It is long past due that Tasracing ceased using the lives of retired greyhounds as post-racing advertising tools, and actively started addressing why ​dogs are finding themselves confined to the GAP kennels for protracted periods of time, why killing seems to be making a potential comeback for ​those retired greyhounds, and why GAP is so concerned with security at their site.

  • correction: Greyhound Racing Clubs Tasmania are apparently responsible for the billboards, not Tasracing. Because, you know, that’s the salient ​point here…

Animal Liberation Tasmania is an animal advocacy group founded in 2016, operating in lutruwita/Tasmania.

We acknowledge that we live and work on the unceded lands of the many palawa pakana peoples of lutruwita, and pay our respects to their elders past and present.

Always was, always will be, Aborginal land.

We are committed to creating safer spaces for all people, with a commitment to the principles of total liberation.

Contact us via email.

ABN 96 232 357 293

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