Crossbencher plan for greyhound payout ridiculous: HSI calls on industry to pay for own reforms
Humane Society International (HSI) Australia is in disbelief at news crossbench MPs from the Shooters and Fishers Party and the Christian Democrats are demanding a $150 million payout for the NSW greyhound industry, a figure almost ten times the amount originally set out just prior to the ban being announced last July.
Shooters MPs and the Christian Democrats have announced they will block the reversal of the ban that was announced by former Premier Mike Baird last October, unless the huge public subsidy is forthcoming.
Whilst HSI does not support the continuation of the industry, if the industry is going to continue, reforms should be paid for by the industry itself and not the taxpayer.
“We believe it must be the industry, not taxpayers, who foot the bill for the needed reforms to mitigate its own widespread animal cruelty. There should certainly not be any public subsidy to reward an industry that saw between 13,000 and 17,000 greyhounds killed each year in NSW,” says Nicola Beynon, Head of Campaigns at HSI Australia.
Just prior to the ban announcement, the NSW Government announced 10% of a 220.8 million tax break would be allocated to the greyhound industry by 2020, despite the industry being fraught with animal cruelty.
HSI Australia is calling for an urgent investigation into the industry’s own tax contributions which show massive discrepancies despite the industry claiming it employs thousands of people.
“Questions the Greens put to the ATO in the Federal Parliament have revealed the NSW greyhound racing industry only paid $169,300 income tax in the 2014/2015 financial year, but the industry is supposed to have generated an annual income of $344.4 million. The figures don’t add up,” says Ms Beynon.
The greyhound industry has been on the decline since 2008. The industry experienced a 22% decline in licenced participants from 2008 to 2015, and attendance from 2010 to 2015 fell by 27.5% at TAB tracks, and by 22.7% at non-TAB tracks. The figures show that the public doesn’t have the interest to be forking out millions of dollars in tax breaks to a failing and cruel industry.
HSI investigations can also reveal that since the reversal of the ban was announced, there has been a 22% increase in trackside deaths of greyhounds, and a 6% increase in injuries, showing that the industry is far from making good on its opportunity to reform.
"Humane Society International says the Government can have no confidence animal welfare problems can ever be solved in this industry. Greyhound racing is inherently cruel and should not receive public funds,” said Ms Verna Simpson, Director of HSI.