South West dog lovers have joined in the fight to ban greyhound racing as a local advocacy group helps table a petition to parliament. Busselton Greyhound Awareness joined Free The Hounds on the steps of Parliament House earlier this year to present an 11,500- signature strong petition to the cause. Group founder Jackie Kemp said the mammoth effort involved collecting hand-written original signatures at the height of COVID-19 as they were all the State Government would accept for consideration. “The high signature count demonstrates increased public awareness surrounding greyhound racing and the numerous welfare issues associated with it,” she said. “We can see from our events and online engagement with the community that greyhound racing has lost its social licence and the wider WA community supports an end to the greyhound racing.” The petition requested that the Government ban greyhound racing, allowing for a two-year phase-out period. As one of her last acts in Parliament, outgoing Greens MP Alison Xamon tabled the petition on May 12, having worked with the Free The Hounds group on multiple campaigns while in office. According to the 2019-20 Racing and Wagering WA annual report, 101 greyhounds died, including 10 deaths on track, in 2020. The report also shows 855 greyhound injuries were sustained on WA tracks in the same time period, including 96 fractured bones — a 10 per cent increase from the previous financial year.