Monday 20. February, 2017

NSW Greyhound Racing Industry to Pay for Integrity Commission

The greyhound racing industry in NSW will be required to fund a new independent integrity and welfare commission, as part of the recommendations of the reform panel that was set up to investigate the industry after former premier, Mike Baird, decided to back down from his controversial decision to ban the sport.

The panel, headed by former Labor premier Morris Iemma, made 122 recommendations for the sport, including the establishment of a Greyhound Welfare and Integrity Commission, all of which are designed to make animal welfare an integral part of the industry.

Other recommendations include an independent regulator with the power to ensure transparency, improved resources to enable the enforcement of animal welfare and prosecution of animal cruelty, registration for life of all greyhounds and life bans and jail terms for live baiting. Recommendations also include an accreditation process for participants in the industry, strict guidelines for euthanasia and improved track safety.

“In essence, New South Wales will become best practice for greyhound racing and for animal welfare when it comes to the greyhound racing industry,” stated Mr Iemma.

“That is backed with a new code, a code that is enforceable, with tough penalties and principles.”

The panel, which was announced last year included industry and government representatives, as well as Steve Coleman from the RSPCA.

According to Mr Coleman, the RSPCA was vocal in supporting a complete ban on the industry; however “we’ve taken an enormously pragmatic approach to this” and he believes that the recommendations would give the industry a chance to remain sustainable.

Funding remains a question with the panel recommending the commission without setting out recommendations for its funding. Brenton Scott from the Greyhound Owners, Breeders and Trainers Association suggested that the industry would attempt to procure funding from the government.


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