State Member for Balmain Jamie Parker said that it has “such a significant impact on animal welfare that it shouldn’t be able to continue”, noting that “the greyhound racing industry is driven by gambling, and it’s not paying sufficient attention to animal welfare”.
“These contradictions can’t be resolved,” Mr Parker said.
Advocates for greyhound welfare said that the industry was ill-suited for Sydney’s inner city and posed little else but health risks and abuse to greyhound dogs.
“Sydney is a dog-loving city and the aging Wentworth Park track has no place in the inner-city area,” Kylie Field, the Director of the Coalition for the Protection of Greyhounds (CPG), said.
Mr Parker also noted that the track was taking up valuable space in inner Sydney that could be used for other public purposes, saying that “very few people actually even visit the site”.
“At Wentworth Park, we have such huge demand for open green space for recreation and sports, these critical pieces of public space should be used by the public, and not just for activities like greyhound racing.”
CPG Director Kylie Field also called for the land to be returned to public hands, saying that she hopes that when the Wentwork Park lease expires in 2027, the “abuse of these beautiful dogs” will end.
Nationwide, 86 per cent of racing deaths in 2021 was by euthanasia resulting from leg fractures; the figure for 2022 is 90 per cent.
The Lethal Tracks Report 2021 from CPG, released last month, states that 92 greyhounds were killed in track-related incidents in NSW last year, and more than 3,000 were injured.
In the 2018/19 financial year, Greyhound Racing NSW provided over $500,000 to Wentworth Park to fund track reconstruction and infrastructure upgrades. Wentworth Park Greyhounds have been contacted for comment by City Hub.