As of July next year, greyhound racing will no longer be a safe bet for punters.
In a shock announcement last week, Premier Mike Baird and Deputy Premier and Minister for Racing Troy Grant announced the eradication of the greyhound racing industry on the back of a report highlighting a culture of ‘systemic’ animal abuse.
In one of the boldest moves made by a Premier, the NSW Government said it was ‘acting to protect animal welfare as a priority’, and is planning for an orderly industry shutdown as of July 1 2017.
The announcement has shaken the industry to its core and sparked debate on both sides of the fence regarding what matters more – the livelihoods of those who race greyhounds or the lives of the animals destroyed for the sake of gambling.
The Argus spoke to the Member for Oxley Melinda Pavey about what she thought of the move, who responded by saying that it was ‘out of the blue’.
“It’s a difficult space to be in as a member of the Government that’s made this decision, we didn’t have any input into how the decision was made,” Mrs Pavey said.
“It was a damning report but Government also has to look at the role it played in this situation, given it had a supervisory role in the greyhound industry for decades.”
The report released by the Special Commission of Inquiry into the Greyhound Racing Industry in NSW found that between 48,000 and 68,000 greyhounds – or at least half of all greyhounds bred to race – were killed in the past 12 years because they were deemed uncompetitive.
Four Corners exposed the ‘gruesome underbelly’ of the industry in a controversial expose entitled Making a Killing. In 2015, reporter Caro Meldrum-Hanna revealed widespread illegality across the country, which brought into question the validity of thousands of greyhound races and millions of dollars.
The Commission of Inquiry’s report is available at www.greyhoundracinginquiry.justice.nsw.gov.au