Greyhound Racing Ban By NSW Government
The New South Wales Government has announced the banning of greyhound racing, citing illegal and unsociable conduct as the reasons for it. The ban will begin as of July 1st 2017, giving owners and bookmakers a year to sort out their affairs.
New South Wales Premier Mike Baird released a statement through Facebook, listing a number of factors that contributed to the decision. These included the use of the live baiting of animals for the dogs to chase, a lack of accountability when it came to injuries to dogs, the lack of ability for the industry to reform and, mostly, the amount greyhounds killed.
“More than a year ago, we established a Special Commission of Inquiry into the greyhound industry after very disturbing reports emerged of cruelty to animals and other illegal activities,” the Premier said.
The report indicated that in the last 12 years in New South Wales alone, as many as 70,000 greyhounds were killed because they were deemed unsuitable for racing or were unable to perform at a high enough level. It also estimated that 180 greyhounds every year sustain “catastrophic injuries” such as fractured skulls or broken backs, but these injuries were not being reported.
“The commission found that Greyhound Racing NSW had adopted a policy of deliberately misreporting the extent of injuries suffered by greyhounds at racetracks.”
RSPCA New South Wales posted on Twitter that they were “ecstatic” about the decision and marked it as “one of the biggest days for animal welfare”. The Greens Animal Welfare minister, Mehreen Faruqi, also applauded the move, but hopes the government find a way to rehome and shelter the ‘unemployed’ greyhounds.
“I am absolutely concerned about the fate of the dogs after the industry is shut down next year,” Dr Faruqi said. “That’s why we will be pushing to make sure that the Government finds the budget and the funding to rehome these dogs.”
Not everyone is as enamoured with the decision; greyhound trainer Jason MacKay said that his world has now been “turned upside down”. “I’m born and bred in the Hunter Valley and, if this goes ahead, it’s all over for me. I’ll have to move whether I like it or not.” The NSW trainer said he believes this is simply a political decision. “This bloke is clutching at straws to get another vote; he’s trying to go for a big knockout punch to get a few more votes and hang in there, but I think this is going to bury him. It’s embarrassing, to tell you the truth, how ludicrous this is.”
One of the issues raised by the likes of Mackay was the 1000 jobs that will now be lost due to the decision. Premier Baird said he aims to try and minimise the damage done by those job losses.
“Over the coming months, we will consult with the industry to help minimise the pain as best we can for the innocent industry participants as we work towards an orderly industry shutdown,” he said. “I feel much empathy for innocent trainers and those who will lose their job or hobby as a result of this. But we simply cannot and will not stand-by and allow the widespread and systemic mistreatment of animals.”
From a betting standpoint, Tabcorp receives five per cent of its wagering turnover from greyhound racing in the state, but believes punters will substitute greyhound racing with other sports. The bookmaker’s media business, Sky Racing, will be attempting to replace NSW greyhound racing on its programming in the coming year. South Australian racing minister, Leon Bignell, has said that his state will not follow suit, but greyhound trainers in Queensland believe their state may be next to implement a ban.
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Writer at the Australian Betting Organization
Nic studied at Monash University and is currently working as a sports journalist. You'll often find Nic at the pub enjoying time with friends while watching UFC and WWE.
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