Determined 1,500-strong crowd rally in Sydney calling on Baird to KEEP greyhound racing ban
Sydney's Martin Place was yesterday bursting with a 1,500-strong crowd supporting an end to the cruelty and wastage of dogs by the greyhound racing industry and calling on NSW Premier Mike Baird to keep the legislation in place to ban greyhound racing. Attendance at the rally was in stark contrast to greyhound industry participants who last August only managed to gather together just a few hundred despite their concerted efforts to ferry people in from interstate by the busload.
The decision to ban greyhound racing in New South Wales was based on the findings of an independent inquiry led by former High Court judge Justice McHugh. The 13 month inquiry concluded that greyhound racing is beyond reform. Yet following just a few weeks of consultation by Dr John Keniry AM as part of the task set for the Governments Transition Taskforce, coupled with the strong pressure from media giants and angry industry participants, the ban was suddenly reversed along with a supposed new-found 'deep appetite for change'.
HSI's Program Manager for Animal Welfare, Georgie Stewart said, "Just since the reversal of the greyhound racing ban by the Premier last week at least another five dogs have been euthanised after being injured during races. The industry were quick to put forward measures to reform before the reversal, but as soon as it's business as usual they're back to their old ways, backing away from false promises.”
Despite these promises to reform and attempts to bring their disgraceful animal welfare shortfalls into line with public levels of acceptance, just days after the ban reversal was announced industry began to quietly back away. The breeding limit of 2,000 dogs per year is one such example which the NSW Greyhound Industry Racing Alliance chief executive Brenton Scott now claims has been scrapped, contrary to statements from Mr Baird's office. If the industry is refusing to play by the new rules there is no other option for the Government, they must uphold the ban. It is unacceptable that it goes back to business as usual. The killing of healthy dogs must stop and if the industry is refusing to now honour the breeding cap the Government will be left with no alternative than to maintain the ban.
Premier Baird himself admits that thousands of people have written to his office and the majority support the ban, yet he ignores their pleas to instead satisfy the bullying tactics of a noisy minority. These are the very people renowned for their disrespect for animals, their acceptance of practices such as live baiting, their desensitisation to violence, and their audacity to dish out death threats even to those at the top. HSI's Ms Stewart said, "The public support for the ban is overwhelming, and a simple announcement by Premier Baird to keep it in place would save thousands of dogs and other animals, and most importantly, it would be the right thing to do.”
The industry has had one chance too many, and the Premier needs to step in and put an end to this outdated and unnecessary animal cruelty. It's now time for the Premier to restore his credibility and make history himself, and listen to the more than one million people in NSW that want this cruel industry to be stamped out.