Baird refusing to budge on greyhound ban

PREMIER Mike Baird is refusing to back down despite growing public outrage at his decision to shut down greyhound racing in NSW as of July 1, 2017.

Baird made the decision, before the legislation to ban the sport had even gone to Parliament, based on the report handed down by the Special Commission of Inquiry led by Justice Michael McHugh.

Since the announcement on July 7, several holes have appeared within the report, raising serious questions about the accuracy of figures relating to wastage and the percentage of trainers engaged in live baiting.

Appearing on 2GB radio on Thursday morning, Premier Baird stood by the Special Commission of Inquiry report.

“Justice McHugh has spent 16 years in the High Court, he is used to looking at evidence,” Baird said.

“He has weighed up all of the evidence and he has made an assessment that it is 10-20 per cent (of trainers were participating in live baiting).

“He is not going to make an assessment unless he has a firm basis.

“On the basis of the McHugh report I felt, our government felt… that we had no option.

“What we have seen is just horrendous.”

Baird shot down comments that evidence used in the report, which was later found to have been in relation to a breeder in America, had no relevance to the sport in NSW.

“There is a reference to where this industry has been around the world and it is important,” he said.

“In the US there was a majority of states where greyhound racing was in the late 70s and now its down to five – animal welfare has seen it shrinking.

“Even here in this state greyhound racing in the last eight years has reduced by about 20 per cent.”

Baird continued to back his decision, stating that interim CEO Paul Newson, who was put in place by the government to regulate the sport and implement reform following on from the live baiting report on ABC’s Four Corners program last year, had no faith in the industry’s ability to repair itself.

“He (Newson) doesn’t think the industry can change. He has seen first hand, he has seen the evidence,” Baird said.

“The only reason that this has been done is that there is systemic, barbaric cruelty.

“Even if you take actions to try and reduce the breeding, you still get to a position… where there is still thousands of dogs which are slaughtered, killed every single year and live baiting would continue.”

Baird continued to stand by the evidence in the report when figures were again called into question.

“We have… report after report of participants, trainers who have admitted that they have undertaken live baiting, they are aware of live baiting and the industry has not denied that their term ‘wastage’ which is the slaughter of live, healthy greyhounds is a regular part (of the industry),” he said.

“Since 2004 there has been 97,000 greyhound pups whelped…there is about 7,000 registered at the moment – where are the rest?

“This is the last thing in the world I ever thought I would be doing I thought I would want to be doing.

“When a government of any political persuasion is presented with the findings that Justice McHugh brought down, I think you would be turning a blind eye to the most significant animal welfare challenges, the most horrendous animal welfare situation that you could imagine… we have acted because it is the right thing to do.

“We will go to Parliament, everyone will have their chance to put their views, but this decision has been done…”

Past Discussion

  1. Newson has seen the evidence has he? Where is it? Newson my self appointed lap dog has seen the evidence he knows. He knows that if he doesn’t back me his chances of being appointed to a new cushy job are nil, just like those mongrels lawyers who have dared to support those dog people  after all the work we have thrown at them. Outrageous. I cannot believe people are questioning me. I have devoted my life to the most pointless pursuit on the planet (state politics) and this is what I get.

  2. Since 2004 there have been 97,000 greyhound pups whelped there are 7000 registered where are they?  Given a greyhound has an average life span of 10-12 years, just like most dogs I think the answer is bloody obvious. 

    What next- we have done the stats  dating back 50 years and there should be four million where are they? I don’t think boy baird has done any modules on population studies at university.

    The sooner this prick goes the better. He has done two terms, hand him his super, find him a cushy job some where else- that cannot be too hard, I mean if Hockey, a man with all the class of a rat with a gold tooth is good enough to be an ambassador  international standards must be forgiving.

    Where are the brumbies boy baird?

  3. The mass grave yards where companion animals in the main would be disposed by the vets performing the best animal welfare processes and disposing of the bodies through their various subcontractors etc would have the same graphic effect on the public if shown as the mass graves where criminal cruelty is alleged, So why is the premier following this line. It is true that  arrangements can be made for mass cremation or single cremations or burials  on commercial animal grounds cemetery.If you add up the amount of services for animals in Australia and the number of companion animals if they died of natural causes , the services would be catering for animals in the seven figure range each.

    So what is this all about, the Government executive through the Minister has the power to withdraw racecourse licences under the administration amendment acts. The only clue I can come up with is that the Government wants to make a case for minimising their payment of fair compensation, The rural areas always seek amenity and in the City its always about the money.

    The graphics on greyhound in mass graves who have been badly treated produces the same images on TV as a mass grave of animals properly disposed. 

  4. John Tracey  One of the worst examples of anti greyhound propaganda I have seen -showed a number of dogs in kennels in appalling conditions. They were also hungry.

    This was described as ” horrific, disgusting etc”. What the report failed to include was that their owner had died in his bed three weeks previously and living alone in an isolated place, sadly no-one had realised.  Given the dogs were all still alive after three weeks and greyhounds have few fat reserves it would suggest previously that they had been very well cared for, otherwise they would not have lived as long as they did.  All of this is, of course, propaganda. I think, being the arrogant man that he is,  thought it would be easy to pick off the greyhound people- he obviously had no understanding of their passion. Now he realises it is not going to be as easy as he thought he just pulls out the cruelty videos. He is not a man like you who can see all the points you have made above. He is not a rational intellectual –  He is a politician- a career politician nothing more nothing less.