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Animal Welfare League NSW would like to express its concern with the NSW government and Greyhound Racing NSW’s planned upcoming Million Dollar Chase event.

The event, which was announced on Tuesday July 31, will be the world’s richest greyhound race, with heats beginning in early September and the final held at Wentworth Park in October 20.

A grand prize of $1 million will be given to the winner, and all greyhounds who are entered into the competition must be rehomed at the end of their racing career as a condition of entry.

AWL NSW CEO Mark Slater said that despite Greyhound Racing NSW trying to market the event as welfare-focused, the outcome would actually be a negative one for greyhounds across the country.

“This race is being marketed as being an exciting new initiative to improve the welfare of greyhounds, however I am deeply concerned that it will only add to the enormous problems we see in the racing industry,” he said.

“While we appreciate that the NSW government has chosen to adopt a regulatory approach to greyhound racing rather than an outright ban, we do not believe that encouraging the further breeding and racing of greyhounds through a giant competition is beneficial.”

Mr Slater said that although many greyhound breeders care for their racing dogs like they were family members, there are many breeders that flout regulations, and even well-loved greyhounds are at risk.

“Regardless of how well they are cared for or socialised prior to racing, many greyhounds sustain serious injuries during events that can compromise their welfare or result in euthanasia.

“We are also curious as to how the outcomes of the greyhounds entered into the Million Dollar Chase will be tracked… how can the state government and Greyhound Racing NSW ensure that entrants will rehome their dogs unless they are being tightly monitored?”

Mr Slater said that he encouraged the NSW government to reconsider its financial support of the greyhound industry, and hoped that backlash among voters would prevent another race occurring next year.