Brightside Farm Sanctuary could re-home three times as many greyhounds as a government run program for the same price, its founder says.
Brightside is the only organisation in Tasmania, outside of Tasracing's Greyhound Adoption Program, with accreditation to re-home greyhounds with muzzle-free status.
Founder and manager Emma Haswell, who has re-homed greyhounds for 17 years, said the organisation re-homed 164 dogs in the past financial year. She said the sanctuary spends about $700 per dog to re-home greyhounds, including paying staff wages.
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"If you compare it to the funding that GAP get and funding per dog, it works up to $3000 per dog that they are getting in funding," Ms Haswell said.
"Which is just obscene and absurd and a complete waste of money. We could do all the GAP and Brightside put together for that amount of money or less and that has been the case for years."
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Ms Haswell said that since the advent of new rules requiring trainers desex their greyhounds before passing them onto to third party re-homing services, they have been getting fewer dogs.
"[Trainers] obviously can't afford or don't want to fork out the money to desex their dog. Plus if they can send it to GAP for free, why would they desex it to send it to Brightside," Ms Haswell said.
"We still have four trainers that we deal with regularly who are prepared to desex their dog before it comes to us. So we are still getting a few, our kennels are still full, but we used to have up to 30 here at a time now we've probably got up to 12."
A Tasracing spokesperson said the reason it costs them more to re-home greyhounds than other organisations was because of staff wages.
"The average cost to re-home a greyhound through an industry re-homing program ranges between $3000 and $5000, depending on the state and size of the program," the spokesperson said.
"Unlike not-for-profit re-homing organisations, industry programs are unable to utilise volunteers. In Tasmania, if a greyhound remains in GAP for a period of 60 days, then wage costs alone will account for more than $2300 per dog."
Under new welfare rules introduced earlier this year greyhound owners must make every effort to find a suitable long-term home for their greyhound. Greyhounds can no longer be euthanised without permission from the Officer of Racing Integrity. Exemptions are only given on medical, legal or behavioural grounds.
The Tasracing spokesperson said 90 greyhounds were euthanised across the industry in the 2019/20 financial year. That is down from 138 in the previous financial year.
"Tasracing expects the euthanasia rate to continue to drop as the new welfare rules deliver stronger controls around euthanasia. In 2019/20, the GAP assessed four greyhounds as being unsuitable for re-homing. One dog was returned to its owner and three dogs were euthanised," the spokesperson said.
In 2019/20 GAP re-homed 138 greyhounds, up from 89 in the previous financial year.
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