LEADING NSW greyhound trainer Dean Swain has spoken out in shock after a drone was pictured hovering above his Western Sydney training establishment on Saturday morning.
Swain, who has been very vocal against the NSW state government’s decision to permanently shut down the greyhound racing industry, says he has nothing to hide but believes his privacy has been invaded.
“I prepared the dog’s foods for Danielle (Swain’s wife) and I took my oldest son to soccer,” Swain recalled.
“Within 40 minutes she called me to say there was a drone hovering 20m above the property.
“It flew away and came back three times.
“I have nothing to hide. If they came and knocked on my door I would invite them into my house and they could go right through my kennel block and our entire property any time they like.
“But to have a drone flying just above my let out yards where my dogs are – it’s worrying.
“I want to know who it was linked to and why they chose to do it – have I ruffled too many feathers? Is it because I went on National TV and said something someone doesn’t like?”
While concerned for the privacy of himself, his wife and his three children, Swain said he will not back down and that he intends to continue fighting for the greyhound racing industry.
“The first day the news broke I was walking around in circles, but now I am adamant that we have to make a stand and really come together to get this decision challenged,” he said.
“We are going to refute it and we are going to beat it.
“When we do that we are really going to come closer than we ever have been as an industry.”
Swain was scathing of Premier Mike Baird’s decision to ban the sport, with the Western Sydney-based trainer recently having given up his job to pursue greyhound training full-time.
“I find incredible joy being a part of this industry,” he said.
“If the ban were to happen and they stopped our sport I don’t know what I would do with myself.
“I couldn’t go back to my trade and I am not prepared to move interstate – my whole family is entrenched here already.
“The thought of having to find something else to do with my life – I can’t get my head around it.
“[Baird’s] efforts were disgraceful – he hasn’t considered the people in our industry and the ramifications which will come as a result of the ban.
“I can’t believe he had the audacity to do what he has done and then slide out of the country on holiday – he should be here facing all of this.”
And Swain was also quick to condemn the sport’s statutory body, Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW), who he feels have let the industry down in its time of need.
“Their first response was to send out numbers to Lifeline and Beyond Blue. Please. I am a strong individual – don’t get me wrong they are great organisations – but I am a fighter and as far as I am concerned they are portraying a defeated attitude,” he said.
“To stop racing with no excuse is totally unacceptable. If there was a reason for it such as putting the prize money for that week into a fighting fund that would be understandable, but for them to do it with no explanation makes it feel like we are being internally attacked.
“I don’t mind not earning prize money for a good cause – but they haven’t given us a single explanation and you just can’t treat people like this in this day and age.