Sunday Tasmanian – Pet Column, Anne Boxhall, July 17th
The decision to ban greyhound racing in New South Wales has generated lively social media in recent weeks.
Inevitably, those owners and trainers who haven’t been breaking the rules are venting widely. Their anger would be best directed towards those in their own industry whose cruel practices led to the ban in the first place.
Premier Mike Baird was well aware that for too long, too many people knew what was going on and didn’t do enough to reform greyhound racing even though the industry had many chances to reform itself.
The NSW special commission uncovered systemic cruelty, intentional deception and illegal activity. Even after the Four Corners investigation and with full knowledge of the inquiry, the commission’s report found trainers were still using live baiting and flouting the rules.
It’s widely held that this culture of deception and mistreatment of dogs runs too deep right across Australia and other states must follow New South Wale’s lead. Premier Baird admirably banned the industry rather than derive gambling revenue from such shameful animal welfare practices.
Meanwhile some within the industry are claiming alarm at the prospect of greyhounds being killed due to the ban. Are these the very same owners and trainers who have been insisting they love their greyhounds and that these dogs are part of their family? If so, why not simply keep their dogs.
Bear in mind that if lives were lost as a result of the shutdown, it would be a very small fraction compared to the lives lost if the industry had continued.
For any doubters, the full review is available here: www.greyhoundracinginquiry.justice.nsw.gov.au Strategies for rehoming existing racing dogs will be in play over the next twelve months enabling many more people to be smitten by the considerable charms of pet greyhounds.