7th July 2016
NSW Premier Mike Baird has announced that NSW will become the first Australian state to shut down greyhound racing after a Special Commission of Inquiry found overwhelming evidence of systemic animal cruelty, including mass greyhound killings and live baiting.
This is one of the largest victories for animals in many, many years and both Mark Pearson and the Animal Justice Party congratulate and commend the NSW government for assessing the inquiry findings and listening to the community.
“This is a great outcome and I believe a huge thank you needs to be given to the animal activists that put their liberties and welfare on the line to expose the barbaric cruelty that was lurking below the surface of this industry. If it was not for the expose ‘Making A Killing’ aired on ABC 4 Corners with undercover footage of live baiting there would not have been an inquiry. This is a testament to these activists and their work, work that has been likened to terrorism by some in the government.”
The report of the Special Commission of Inquiry into the Greyhound Racing Industry in NSW released by Premier Baird documented serious, systemic cruelty and welfare issues. It found that between at least half of all greyhounds bred to race – were killed in the past 12 years because they were deemed ‘uncompetitive’. It went on to state that up to 20 per cent of trainers engage in live baiting and 180 greyhounds a year sustain “catastrophic injuries” during races, such as skull fractures and broken backs that resulted in their immediate deaths. The inquiry noted that the industry was not capable of reforming in the short or medium term.
“The report finally documented what many among the community knew, and that was that the greyhound racing industry is one based on exploitation and cruelty of the highest order. It is an industry that has no excuses left anymore and is one that is closing down all across the world.“
Further details of the phase out plan will be revealed but what we know is it will include:
- A welfare plan for existing greyhounds, including opportunities for re-homing;
- An adjustment package for industry participants; and
- A transition arrangement for existing Greyhound Racing NSW assets that will ensure they are used for open public space, alternative sporting facilities or other community use.
Having the Animal Justice Party in NSW Parliament, we can ensure the government will stay true to its words and provide the best re-homing outcomes for the greyhounds. It is critical that the government provide the resources necessary to ensure every single one of the dogs remaining in the industry after the ban be given the best chance to a peaceful post racing life.
This is a win for the greyhounds, the piglets, possums, chickens and rabbits used as live bait. It is a win for animal activism and animal advocates across the country, this is a win for the broader society. As Mahatma Gandhi stated
“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”