Greyhound Industry Reform Panel report to be released on Thursday

New South Wales participants are waiting with trepidation to find out the future direction of the sport as the Greyhound Industry Reform Panel prepares to publicly unveil its report handed down to the NSW government.

The panel, led by Morris Iemma, was announced in October following former premier Mike Baird’s announcement that he would reverse the contentious ban on greyhound racing which was set to come into effect on July 1, 2017.

The report from the panel, which will include recommendations for the government on the future direction of the greyhound racing industry, is due to be released on Thursday.

One of the major recommendations set to be announced is the creation of a powerful new integrity body which will be established to oversee greyhound racing in the state.

The Greyhound Welfare and Integrity Commission will separate the regulatory and commercial arms of the sport, which are both currently under the control of Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW).

Also expected as part of the report are recommendations for mandatory life bans and increased jail terms for those found guilty of live baiting, the implementation of a system to register greyhounds throughout their entire lifecycle and more resources for enforcement, prosecution and animal welfare.

It is still unclear whether breeding caps will form a part of the panel’s recommendations.

A set of guarantees from the NSW Greyhound Racing Industry Alliance to Mike Baird prior to the ban backflip outlined a plan to reduce breeding, placing a cap on the amount of greyhounds bred each year if the industry was able to secure another chance at reform.

These guarantees formed a part of the terms of reference for the panel, however, the Alliance’s CEO Brenton Scott quickly tried to distance himself from the notion of a breeding cap soon after the panel was announced, ensuring the industry that he had reached an agreement with the government that the cap of 2000 pups born per annum had been scrapped.

“The Alliance have raised [the 2,000 breeding cap] specifically with the Premier and Deputy Premier,” Scott told Australian Racing Greyhound last year.

“Since [August 9] the Alliance has taken its position to Greyhounds Australasia and has explained that the concept of a controlled breeding program needs to have a national focus.

“We need to understand what’s needed to cater for the entire national racing program at a given time and all of our planning needs to be between two and five years ahead.

“We obviously can’t breed more than we need to cater for that racing program, once we ensure the national level and the flow between states, then it will become an easier process to determine the breeding levels that should apply in each state.

“It’s not about approaching this issue from a breeding cap point of view, but approaching it from an appreciation that we shouldn’t be breeding excess to our racing needs and we shouldn’t be breeding excess to our capacity to re-home in a manner that is line with community expectations.”

However, when contacted at the same time, the government failed to confirm an agreement with Scott, instead indicating that breeding caps would still be considered.

“The Government has appointed a Greyhound Industry Reform Panel to determine the new regime that will ensure greyhound racing in NSW prioritises animal welfare, has a robust governance structure and a tough independent regulator to monitor the industry,” the spokesperson said.

“The Panel will consider a number of reports including the recommendations of the Report of the Special Commission of Inquiry, as well as the industry reform guarantees regarding breeding caps put forward by the Greyhound Racing Industry Alliance in August.”

GRNSW have already begun a series of measures aimed at improving welfare since the reversal of the ban, including the provision of water in all race day kennels and the introduction of six dog fields in non-TAB meetings at Lismore.

You can read the complete timeline of the NSW greyhound racing ban and reversal here.

Past Discussion

  1. Yes today is the day that the 121 recommendations will be in the Public Arena ! Now if its any thing like the all recommendations that came from the Select Committee findings nothing will change . With whats gone down with THE  BAN this time you’ll see BIG changes in how Greyhound Racing is conducted in this State and i have no doubt it will be the yard stick for over states in years to come. A Commercial Board with more industry representation on it, A Regulatory side separate from the commercial side which will be overseen by a Integrity Commission, this integrity Commission must also consist of industry people who understand the basic fundamentals of the Industry ( A Job for Scott lol) not bureaucrats who know nothing about what’s required in the best interest  of all concern.Now with these changes they must be funded, if not, it will not work !  Here’s hoping the Government Do The Right Thing By All Concern. its sad that the Alliance was not more transparent with the people they claimed  to Represent ?

  2. Nick Greiner made user pays law, now what we need is parity for the hounds, I hope that forms a major part of this report otherwise we will be up shit creek again without a paddle.

  3. As with any government program, the devil is in the details. Strict regulation can be created on paper, but unless it is enforced it’s just words. While I support regulation of racing–as long as it continues to exist– I know that no amount of regulation can counter the one essential fact at the center of this so called sport and that is that innocent living creatures are brought into this world for the sole purpose of making money for their owners and discarded when they can no longer fulfill that function. As long as money is at the heart of racing the welfare of the dogs will be secondary and no regulation can change that. That’s the nature of exploitation.

    I am a Board member of Grey2K USA Worldwide, an organization that fights to save these marvelous creatures all over the globe. (you can learn more about us here: http://www.grey2kusa.org.) I have fostered and adopted rescued racing greyhounds since 1995. I cannot imagine abandoning any of them when they become injured, old or sick and yet this is routinely what happens to them at operating tracks. Regulation may make that fact more public, but it will not end it.
    Fred Barton
    Board Member
    GREY2K USA Worldwide