GRNSW determined to end greyhound racing before July 1, 2017

GREYHOUND Racing NSW (GRNSW) may have just killed greyhound racing a year before it becomes illegal, with the controlling body suspending non-TAB racing pending an internal review into track safety, integrity and animal welfare.

The inquiry follows the release of the Special Commission of Inquiry report which outlined 79 points which could alleviate concerns surrounding the sport’s integrity and animal welfare.

While I am in no way disapproving of the motives behind the review, alienating our grass roots participants could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

With all due respect to country trainers and their dogs, in most cases these greyhounds are in the bush because they have no other option.

Deemed ‘too slow’ for TAB racing, many have been sent bush by their owners to somewhere they feel they will be competitive; be it Cowra, Lithgow, Tamworth, or any of the 18 non-TAB clubs operating in the state.

There are no ‘big’ trainers in the bush – these are the battlers. The people who have two or three dogs in the kennel at home and take them to the track each weekend for a bit of fun – if they happen to win, its a bonus.

That has now been stopped in its tracks for God knows how long. So what are these country folk supposed to do in the meantime?

They can’t pack up their team and drive, in some cases, up to six hours to find a TAB track – their greyhounds would be lucky to gain a start and even if they did they would probably be lapped.

These are the greyhounds with nowhere else to go – so what incentive do their trainers have to keep them now? What is someone with 12 dogs supposed to do? How can they afford to pay for their dogs if there is no chance of earning prize money?

Once again, I am not knocking the decision to inspect the tracks, it should be done, but what is not acceptable is the lack of communication between the authority body and the participants.

The sudden decision to review every non-TAB track is clear misadministration in my eyes. Why has an external Commission of Inquiry into the sport been able to find faults with the country tracks, yet GRNSW has allowed racing week after week without any concerns being flagged?

If GRNSW was doing its job properly it would have had some idea that certain tracks were not up to standard and there would be no reason to cease racing at 18 of the 33 tracks within the state – that’s over half of the tracks in NSW which cannot race because of poor regulation.

The interim CEO of GRNSW Paul Newson, who took over the position from Brent Hogan, a casualty of the live baiting scandal, has much to answer for. His resignation and subsequent announcement of an administrator being appointed to preside over the death of the industry is staggering. His lack of leadership since the scandal broke indicates he has known this was coming for months. He never was the right man to help an industry reform because he simply didn’t care.

Importantly, with just 12 months left of racing if the Baird government’s legislation is passed, GRNSW and the clubs are unlikely to spend a single cent improving any tracks, especially those on the non-TAB circuit when there is no chance of earning revenue from betting.

And just how long is this review process going to take? The heavy handed decision by GRNSW to suspend all non-TAB racing could drag out for months, we don’t know because the authority body has failed to detail how long it will take.

This has country participants shaking in their boots. These poor people feel like they have lost their racing already, less than a week after Mike Baird’s announcement that the sport would close on July 1, 2017.

There needs to be more consultation by GRNSW with these participants, to reassure them that racing will return within ‘x’ amount of time if everything goes smoothly throughout the review process.

If they can’t do this then GRNSW must provide these battlers with a support package to ensure they can afford to feed and take care of their dogs throughout this period.

We are talking about the grass roots, the heart and soul of our industry. These people and their dogs are the ones that need our support if GRNSW are really concerned about welfare.

Past Discussion

  1. Sadly it appears the administrators do not really get it- initially it was you have to make your  kennels larger, now it is track maintenance – the anti league want WELFARE issues addressed. Welfare issues are the community’s concern.  The want more dogs rehomed. Country racing, besides providing valuable social and recreation opportunities, is also a place where dogs not quick enough to win in the city or on a tab track can go- they get an opportunity for a longer life. When I raced in the bush I did not breed any dogs they were dogs given to me from people in the city and most of them lived with me till the end of their days not just to their end of the racing lives. Almost all of the other trainers raced dogs deemed to slow for the city or tab as well.

    There are within the community organisations and individuals ( genuine, concerned and committed to rehoming)  I do not include the infamous animals Australia in this group-who despite being anti racing are still motivated by the same things I am, a love of greyhounds, why not use welfare money to fund these genuine people there are happy enough to take my donations despite being a trainer.

  2. Watch this Space

    Newson to get his medicine over a deal he did in 2013 at OLGR.

    You wont have to read it here though. It will be front page news lol

    Dont get mad. Get even.

  3. MY DOG LOVES TO RACE, JUST ASK HIM AND WATCH HIM. I am not the voice for him. His actions speak louder than words. Country racing or Non-Tab racing has a special place in the Greyhound psyche . The racing Greyhound loved and revered by the country trainer,that abounds grace and ability has nothing less than devotion. On many occasions that i have raced on country or non-tab fixtures, the Greyhounds entered for events were above standard, with their trainers happy to enjoy the day with family and friends and their best friend, the Greyhound. Every activist or non community contributor , continually says no one mentions the Dog. The Greyhound, obviously needs introduction. It seems that no one knows what their about?