Homes will be needed for about 19,000 greyhounds, according to estimates in a leaked draft interim report.
Homes will be needed for about 19,000 greyhounds, according to estimates in a leaked draft interim report. Robert Brandolini

Greyhounds get free flights but need 19,000 homes

VIRGIN Australia and pet transport company Jetpets will provide free flights for New South Wales racing dogs going into adoption after the greyhound industry shutdown.

The companies have entered agreements with the RSPCA, Animal Working Dogs Rescue and Pet Rescue to provide free transport for companion animal adoptions and relocating surrendered greyhounds.

Meanwhile, Racing NSW is taking its own steps to ensure the welfare of horses.

The racing body will take a 1% levy on all prize money to establish a horse welfare fund to care for horses that never make it to the track and for retired thoroughbreds.

Animal Justice Party MP Mark Pearson commended the groups in parliament, noting Racing NSW had committed to retraining and rehoming all New South Wales thoroughbred horses.

The greyhound industry's failure to rehome animals deemed too old or slow to race was a key factor in the sport's downfall.

A special commission of inquiry estimated between 49,000 and 68,000 dogs born in the past 12 years had been killed - about 50-70% of all greyhounds born in NSW.

The industry referred to the culling as "wastage".

Now a leaked draft interim report into the industry's transition to shutdown has estimated 19,000 greyhounds will need to be rehomed - almost three times the special commission's initial 6809 estimate.

Deputy Premier Troy Grant is reportedly considering resignation if the Nationals' decision to shut down greyhound racing leads to the party losing the coming Orange by-election.

Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair refused to comment when asked whether the new adoption estimates meant the ban would lead to tens of thousands of dogs being killed.

"The government is waiting for a report back from the implementation task force that will address a range of matters in relation to the greyhound industry," he told parliament.


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