Greyhound racers aren't all bad

FURRY FRIEND: Trainers Sonia and Warren Kempshall with son Jasper, 4, and their greyhound Slick Jappa, one of their ‘pets’.
FURRY FRIEND: Trainers Sonia and Warren Kempshall with son Jasper, 4, and their greyhound Slick Jappa, one of their ‘pets’. Adam Hourigan

THE introduction of the Greens' bill to abolish greyhound racing in Australia could be the death knell for the Kempshall family's way of life and for their favourite pets.

Sonia and Warren Kempshall have been racing greyhounds for many years and have built themselves up as the most dominant racing family in the Clarence Valley region. For them their 30 greyhounds are their pets, extensions of their family, and to lose the dogs would be disastrous.

"If this bill goes through, for Sonia and I it would mean we would have to surrender our dogs," Mr Kempshall said. "The RSPCA would take our dogs and I can guarantee they would get put down."

"These dogs aren't just racing animals, they are our pets. Our little four-year-old Jasper, every afternoon he walks to the kennel and goes inside to lie down with the dogs. They are not vicious animals."

"A lot of people I know would have to walk away from their greyhounds because they would not be able to keep them anymore."

RELATED: Abolishing greyhound industry will hurt economy: industry

Mr Kempshall understands that the racing industry does need a strong revamp in the way in which it is conducted but says it does not need to be abolished.

"I definitely think there is room for improvement within the industry that is for sure," he said.

"There are guys out there who are not doing the right thing. There are people who are using defenceless animals as baits.

"These guys need to be removed, they need to be stopped. But that does not mean to stop the entire industry.

"We have all been tarred by with something that only a few did.

"Racing isn't just a sport to us it is our way of life."

Topics:  animal cruelty economy greyhound racing

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