Greyhound Racing to Continue in NSW After Retraction by Mike Baird
In an extraordinary move, Premier of NSW, Mike Baird, has backtracked and confirmed in a cabinet meeting in Sydney on Tuesday morning that Greyhound racing will be allowed to continue in the state.
Baird backed down after massive public outcry when the ban was pushed through parliament just a month ago. There were reports that Baird’s hold on the Premier’s office was under threat, as was Troy Grant’s position as leader of the National Party.
In place of an outright ban on the industry, the NSW government will implement a comprehensive set of guidelines for the industry. Through these guidelines, the government hopes that the industry will become accountable for its participants.
The guidelines are expected to include a capping of greyhound breeding in NSW to 2,000, fewer tracks in the state and a drop in the number of race events per year. In addition, there will be a focus on the management of the whole-of-life dog cycle and a $1,500 bond for every dog bred.
An oversight body will be set up to ensure the guidelines are being adhered to and members of the body will include representatives from the Greyhound Breeders, Owners and Trainers Association (GBOTA), the RSPCA and independent directors.
Broadcaster Alan Jones appears to have been influential in the reversal of Baird’s decision and he told the ABC that he felt that Baird had come to the right decision after following a cause that was not on the right track.
“It’s no use being loyal to false causes and he’s been loyal to a false cause,” said Jones.
“Michael Baird and Troy Grant went off half-cocked and they’ve got them into this particular mess. [There’s] nothing wrong with saying ‘I got it wrong. I’ve listened and we are going to review the whole deal.’”
March 23, 2017