You will all have heard the NSW Premier Mike Baird’s recent decision to ban Greyhound racing in this state from July 2017. This follows the release of the findings of the Special Commission of Inquiry into the Greyhound Racing Industry, headed by former High Court judge, the Hon. Michael McHugh AC QC. The full details of the report (over 800 pages in length) can be found here: http://www.greyhoundracinginquiry.justice.nsw.gov.au/
We would strongly encourage everyone to read the full report, which is very detailed, far-reaching & well referenced. However, a précis of the findings can be found here: http://www.greyhoundracinginquiry.justice.nsw.gov.au/Documents/fact-sheet-greyhound-racing-industry-nsw-special-commission-of-inquiry.pdf
Like everyone else, we were taken by surprise at Mike Baird’s bold announcement. GAP NSW has always tried to maintain a neutral public position on the Greyhound racing industry – instead, preferring to focus on the dogs themselves. However, we have always maintained that the numbers of dogs bred (and subsequently euthanased at an early age) are excessive. The findings of this report have made it abundantly clear that if racing continued, at best, no more than 22% of Greyhounds bred in NSW will ever have a chance of becoming pets, to live out their normal lifespan in a loving home. In other words, 4 out of 5 dogs will continue to be killed in their prime each year. For this reason, GAP NSW supports the Premier’s proposed ban on Greyhound racing.
However, this proposal still needs to pass legislature in NSW Parliament. In the last few days the NSW Opposition leader, Labor’s Luke Foley has come out in defence of the racing industry and its participants. In addition, some National Party MPs as well as the Shooters Fishers & Farmers Party & the Christian Democrats' Fred Nile have all indicated they will oppose the ban when Parliament resumes sitting on 2nd August.
While opposition to the ban on racing is likely to be little more than political point-scoring by these parties, GAP NSW does acknowledge that a number of racing participants & those indirectly connected to the industry (such as vets, pet food suppliers etc) will lose all or a proportion of their livelihoods. However, it must be kept in mind that under proposed rationalisation of the NSW Greyhound racing industry, Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) had planned in the near future to reduce the number of race tracks in the state from the current 34 down to a maximum of 14. The closures would be of non-TAB tracks which are mostly in regional areas. So regardless of the state-wide ban, many of these racing participants would be out of a job anyway.
So what can you do to make a difference?
1, As lovers of the Greyhound breed, we cannot allow the ban on Greyhound racing to fail in NSW Parliament. We will have only one opportunity to stop Greyhound racing and breeding in this state. We urge you, your family, friends and colleagues to lobby your state MP to support the Premier’s ban on Greyhound racing. In fact, contact all MPs & let your feelings be known. Members’ details can be found below:
2. While you are at it, also lobby Federal National Party leader & Minister for Agriculture & Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce. Mr Joyce has come out in strong opposition to the NSW racing ban, despite stating "I haven't read the report and to be quite frank, I don't intend to read the report” (referring to the McHugh Special Commission report). In addition, Mr Joyce has refused to act when approached repeatedly by Greyhounds Australasia to ban the export of Australian Greyhounds to Macau & other Asian countries with no animal welfare regulations. Just as he supports the live export trade of cattle & sheep, Barnaby Joyce supports the export of our Greyhounds. Mr Joyce’s contact details are:
3. Think about becoming a foster carer. GAP NSW Inc seeks volunteer foster carers in the Sydney & Central Coast areas. We provide training & support for carers plus all necessary equipment, commercial dry dog food & Advocate™ for our foster dogs. Whilst we are always in need of more foster carers, the situation is likely to become urgent if the racing ban successfully passes legislature. To find out more about becoming a foster carer, see our web site: