Greyhound racing ban imminent for New South Wales
Since Premier Mike Baird’s announcement four weeks ago that greyhound racing in New South Wales would be banned, the decision has gained huge support. The Australian public, a nation of animal lovers, had voiced their growing concerns over the widespread animal cruelty within the industry, and this time the Government has made the right call. A ‘sport’ that readily accepts the killing of thousands of healthy dogs, uses practices such as live baiting, and results in severe injuries to animals simply does not warrant a place in our society.
Hundreds of vets across the country have also come on board to voice their support for the ban this week, joining animal welfare advocates to ensure that it is set in legislation. Sarah Pollard-Williams BSc Vet MB said, “As a vet who has had 30 years of clinical experience, and dealt with greyhound trainers in the UK and Australia, I cannot welcome this ban enough. This is not a ‘sport’.” Another vet, Mark Dowden BVSc, commented, “I have worked with greyhounds as a veterinarian and seen the industry up close. There is no doubt in my mind that this industry cannot be conducted without animal cruelty. Therefore I think it needs to be banned in Australia.”
The bill to ban greyhound racing is expected to be debated in the Legislative Assembly sometime in the next two weeks. Today Humane Society International (HSI) will attend an event hosted by Greens NSW MP Mehreen Faruqi at NSW Parliament House to answer any questions from MPs about the bill. HSI was delighted by Premier Baird’s announcement – his decision was based on a thorough and independent inquiry. Opposition Leader Luke Foley is instead criticising the ban despite stating that he would love to end greyhound racing at a round-table meeting early last year, so he is clearly using it as a cheap political move. Whether other MPs choose to follow him in his quest to support the mistreatment of thousands of dogs is yet to be seen.
The greyhound industry doesn’t just involve unacceptable levels of animal cruelty, it also involves organised crime, drug cartels and physical threats that were violently levelled at anyone who dared to speak out. When the 2015 inquiry was held many people had stories to tell but were so intimidated they would not give evidence. Some supporters of the ban were hoping to attend today’s event, but were too afraid to do so having received similar threats themselves.
HSI Director Verna Simpson said, “HSI have strongly advocated for an end to greyhound racing in NSW and Australia, and would again like to thank the Premier and Deputy Premier for their courageous decision as well as the other MPs who support them. To hear that some are talking of crossing the floor in opposition of the ban demonstrates either their inability to respond to voter concerns or flagrant dismissal of them. We are anticipating a good outcome for this bill and we will continue to advocate for a nationwide ban on greyhound racing.”