THE New South Wales greyhound industry is continuing its fight for survival following a meeting with Premier Mike Baird and Deputy Premier Troy Grant on Tuesday morning.
Representing the industry was NSW Greyhound Breeders Owners and Trainers Association (GBOTA) CEO Brenton Scott, who is also the head of the NSW Greyhound Racing Industry Alliance.
At the meeting the Alliance made four guarantees of action to the Government and community as a means of demonstrating the industry’s unwavering commitment to reform.
“We appreciate the Premier listening to our plan for the future this morning,” Scott said.
“We are committed to a plan that will ensure we meet the expectations of the community and can still operate a viable and sustainable industry.”
The four guarantees are as follows:
– A total life cycle management for all greyhounds born into the industry, including every greyhound which is unable to race as well as retired dogs.
– A controlled breeding program which would immediately limit the amount of greyhounds being bred for racing within NSW to 2000 annually.
– A zero tolerance attitude towards animal cruelty which would result in life time bans for any participants found guilty of acts such as live baiting.
– Providing strict standards to ensure the safest racing environment as a means of eliminating avoidable injury.
Each of the four guarantees came with a detailed action plan to demonstrate to the Government how the industry expects to meet each of the commitments.
The plans include positive initiatives such as breeding quotas, new grading systems for racing greyhounds, additional funding for adoption programs and a new industry Code of Practice, which would be enforceable by a regulatory and supervisory structure.
Scott said the guarantees made by the Alliance demonstrate a response to some of the Government and community’s main concerns for the sport of greyhound racing.
“Important to the community is the fact that our plan for the future means that every greyhound bred will live out a full and natural life whether as a racing dog, adopted as a family pet, or as the responsibility of its owner or the industry,” Scott said.
“We are confident that we can meet these guarantees. We have thoroughly researched the issues. The modelling that we have done, plus case studies from other states and overseas, demonstrates that this is all viable and achievable.”
Scott said Baird saw the significant impact his decision is going to have on the state and reiterated that the Alliance is keen to work with the Premier on reforming the industry.
“I believe the Premier showed an understanding of the impact of his decision and we are happy to work with him further to demonstrate the viability of our industry.
“We hope he agrees to work with us as we are confident we have a viable industry inclusive of the animal welfare guarantees we presented to him today.
“We are open to independent credible modelling to further check our future capability inclusive of these strong reforms and infrastructure upgrades.
“We are just asking for a fair go and a chance to demonstrate that we can change.”