The government of New South Wales (NSW) has reversed its decision to ban greyhound racing, stating that the sport had ‘one last chance’ to prove itself against animal cruelty.
The Australian greyhound racing industry has come under fire following a string of investigations which found overwhelming evidence of animal cruelty including mass killings and the use of live baits in training.
This July NSW Premier Mike Baird had declared that his state would move to ban greyhound racing following the shocking evidence of animal cruelty. However, NSW’s Premier this week backtracked on the proposal detailing that a ban on greyhound racing would be incautious of the actual realities of imposing a ban on the sport.
NSW advisors pointed that there would be a significant number of dogs abandoned should the state ban racing.
Addressing concerns Baird declared that greyhound industry should reform under a new regime, which would be chaired by Deputy Premier Troy Grant and Morris Lemma (former NSW Premier) forming a ‘Greyhound Industry Reform Panel.’
Ensuring the safety of greyhounds, the reform panel will look to implement
- Mandatory life bans as well as increased jail terms for live baiting;
- Registering all greyhounds for their entire lives;
- An independent regulator with strong new powers to ensure transparency and accountability; and
- Substantially increased resources for enforcement and prosecution as well as animal welfare.
NSW Premier Mike Baird commented on the appointed panel;
NSW officials invited animal welfare groups to participate in the reform group, stating that its commitment to having the cleanest greyhound racing programme in Australia.
“We firmly believed the government’s decisive response to the animal cruelty outlined in Justice McHugh’s report was the right one – but we misjudged the community’s response to that report,”
“It’s clear the community agrees that the cruelty must end, but we underestimated the community’s desire to give the greyhound industry one last chance to reform and conform to the highest standards of animal welfare.
“The industry can’t return to the status quo – the barbaric practices of live baiting, cruel wastage and high rates of injury must end.”