A peaceful protest of greyhounds and their owners in Launceston this week hoped to influence public opinion against the breeds' use as racing animals.
Members from Greyhound Rehabilitation Enthusiasts Association Tasmania (GREAT) gathered alongside Animal Liberation Tasmania on Monday, August 21, at Civic Square to rally against alleged mistreatment in the dog racing industry.
About 20 ex-racing greyhounds gathered near Launceston's Racing Services Tasmania office in Henty House to show the "beautiful greyhounds who have survived the industry".
Animal Liberation Tasmania spokesperson Kristy Alger said the protest gave the public a chance to see "how wonderful these animals can be as individuals and not as racing tools".
"There is a perception of greyhounds that they are sort of 'other than dogs', because they are essentially a livestock animal in the racing industry," Ms Alger said.
"Not a lot of people get to meet them on an emotional, individual level where they are their own best advocates as gentle and loving dogs."
Ms Alger said the Animal Liberation Tasmania group will be lobbying to shut down the industry in coming years.
Similar to the Great Global Greyhound Walk - an annual, September event which highlights the breeds' qualities as a domestic pet - the protest hoped to show the animal in a new light.
GREAT member Serani Dobson and her greyhound, Thelma, attended the protest at Civic Square and said she took on Thelma as a rescue because she doesn't "believe in racing".
"I don't think hurting animals is a Tasmanian way of life," Ms Dobson said.
The Greyhound Peaceful Protest event was organised to raise awareness for the animals reported mistreatment, with particular reference to recently released footage of Tasmanian greyhounds being "racked up like tools waiting to be used".
Dog racing has come under even greater scrutiny in recent weeks because of the footage, which the Tasmanian government's Racing Minister, Felix Ellis, said was sent to the Office of Racing Integrity for review and that he understood an investigation was underway.
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