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Independent Member for Clark Andrew Wilkie will join Let Greyhounds Run Free to demand an investigation into the fate of 262 greyhound pups that disappeared in Tasmania between 2016 and 2018.

“The State Government must come clean and tell us what happened to these hundreds of dogs,” Mr Wilkie said. “Were they all sentenced to death just so the Government could collect some gambling taxes?”

Let Greyhounds Run Free discovered the missing dogs through analysis of State Government records from the Office of Racing Integrity.

The figure was calculated by subtracting the number of dogs who were registered to race in Tasmania, aged between 12 and 16 months, from the number of live pups born between 2016 and 2018.

“What happened to these pups?” Mr Wilkie asked. “Why have 262 pups disappeared? The State Government must announce an independent investigation into this matter immediately.”

Shockingly the official figures also reveal 381 racing dogs, that is dogs who survived past puppyhood and were registered to race, were either killed or died from “accidental” or “natural” causes during the same three-year period.

“This is a clearly an unacceptable death toll,” Mr Wilkie said. “No wonder 80 per cent of Australians want greyhound racing shut down.”

Let Greyhounds Run Free coordinator Fran Chambers said pups would continue to disappear in Tasmania because new ORI recommendations to register puppies earlier are not mandatory.

She said the young dogs that made it to the track continued to be killed due to catastrophic injury.

“The only serious way to reduce deaths and injuries is to race a maximum of six dogs on a straight track,” she said. “Yet in Tasmania 10 dogs are nominated for every race to ensure eight run every time around the oval tracks where they bunch up and collide at every turn. So how can the State Government say they are serious about greyhound welfare?”

Ms Chambers said the Greyhound Adoption Program was not coming close to saving the lives of the 450 dogs estimated to leave the industry each year.

“This is an industry that is cruel from cradle to the grave and it must be shut down,” she said. “The cost is far too high. Hundreds of dogs are being lost in puppyhood, on the track and at retirement.”