The NSW Government will ban in July 2017 greyhound racing, after a damning report from a special commission, which questioned the “social licence” of the greyhound racing industry. There are great many people smiling and of course the ‘hounds, well I guess they are just barking happier. There are some unhappy individuals and groups and individuals paid by those groups who are not so happy.
There are very few countries where greyhound racing is still going on. A few days ago the “great” orator Alan Jones was so happy when one of his callers pointed out that greyhound racing is not banned in the USA, just betting on it is illegal. Well maybe the great supporters of greyhound racing in the USA, UK and Australia should bow their heads in shame to support such a bloody thing.
I am going to introduce a few key phrases here:
the “animal exploitation enterprise”, which includes the greyhound industry; “animal abuse and exploitation”; and finally “consent”. In the United(?) States of America the factory farms and other lobby groups and the politicians who get paid by them, sneaked through a legislation which is called the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act. A statute which is aimed at the animal rights activists who may engage in certain acts “for the purpose of damaging or interfering with the operations of an animal enterprise”. An act that either “damages or causes the loss of any real or personal property” or “places a person in reasonable fear” of injury is considered acts of terrorism. Just like bombing a hospital or killing people indiscriminately with bombs or guns. I let that sink in.
When we as a Western society talk about harm coming to children, such as being raped, molested, beaten or abandoned, we call that child abuse or child exploitation. Rightly so, as harming defenceless sentient beings is abuse and exploitation. Yet when it comes to animals, also sentient beings, we use a much lesser term “cruelty”. Our legal language shows the ignorance of the lawmakers. By shifting to the use of the terms such as animal abuse or exploitation we can show the importance of the issue, because we consistently label any harm towards animals and human unacceptable.
The last issue is consent. This is tough. Why is it unacceptable to have sex with children or animals? What is wrong with greyhound or horse racing? Something you would find even in the most of the porn industry. That is the participants understand what is happening and willingly consent. A child is incapable to understand sexual acts hence their consent cannot be obtained. The same way an unconscious woman or man cannot consent to have sex with another person. Greyhounds do not consent to being locked in small cages, forced to run around, forcible and selectively bred and, if they are deemed “unfit” to race, killed.
The greyhound breeders, owners, racers and the racecourse owners are in uproar. Some of the politicians, such as people from the NSW Labour Party, and Kathrina Hodgkinson are joining the uproar. Maybe it is a sponsored uproar. After all Kat Hodgkinson previously called animal rights activists “terrorists“, but not the industry she was paid to protect. Sure they greyhound breeders don’t blow up buildings but they have killed thousands of healthy greyhounds in the last decade.
So the NSW government bans greyhound racing because they have lost their “social licence”. Well if it is because they suffering they cause while profiting from exploitation then I would like to know why was the building of a second casino approved? Why is the alcohol, tobacco and gambling industry allowed to exploit vulnerable people for profit and dump the wrecks of the human beings (aka addicts) onto our underfunded health system? I do not see any proposal to ban any of those. Perhaps they can afford to pay better lobbyists…