Friends of the Hound protest at Banora Point.
Friends of the Hound protest at Banora Point. Scott Powick

Racetrack goes to the dogs

FRIENDS of the Hound have released a petition against a proposed greyhound racing track at South Murwillumbah.

Secretary Lisa White believed there were economic, social and ethical issues surrounding the development that had not been explored by the Tweed Shire Council.

“Our concerns focus mainly on the significant welfare issues for greyhounds due to a poorly regulated commercial racing and betting industry that exploits mass numbers of these animals and generates a mass wastage every year,” Ms White said.

“There are also economic and social implications, with little or no benefit to the community at large, and we therefore request that the proposed development of a greyhound track at Murwillumbah be rejected.”

The petition had attracted more than 800 signatures yesterday afternoon, just one day after its release.

Many of the signatures were from overseas.

“There is a huge focus on animal welfare around the world, with the plight of greyhounds gaining much attention internationally, nationally and locally, as greyhound racing faces a global decline,” Ms White said.

“The petition has spread like wildfire overseas and here in Australia.”

The Friends of the Hound had also identified gambling as a concerning trend in the Tweed community.

“Despite this, punters have a myriad of sports for betting opportunities.

“It is time that the government, industry bodies and minority of participants realised that masses of Australians and people around the world believe that greyhound racing is no longer a viable Aussie pastime.”

A spokesperson for the Tweed Shire Council announced that ethical concerns surrounding the proposed racing track had not been explored at this stage of the proposal.

“The ethics of the proposal is not dealt with by the planning department, they purely look at whether it fits into our planning regulations,” he said.

Ethical concerns had to be brought to the attention of councillors who may then bring the matter forward.

“It’s at the discretion of the Director of Planning and Regulations to bring it to the elected members of council if it becomes a highly contentious issue,” the spokesperson said.

“It’s to streamline the process so developments can go through smoothly.”

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