The Berejiklian government has come under fire from animal advocate groups over its decision to use $41 million of taxpayers’ money to reform the greyhound racing industry.
“This amount of public funds should not be allocated to an industry exposed for mass dog killings, fatal injuries, live baiting and doping with dangerous drugs,” Humane Society International Australia said on Tuesday.
The comments were echoed by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, with campaigns associate director Ashley Fruno saying “no amount of money could clean up this dirty industry that kills countless dogs, simply for the crime of not running fast enough”.
“Using taxpayers’ money to subsidise an unethical, unpopular and unnecessary industry is short-sighted. These funds should be used instead to help greyhound trainers and breeders transition out of dog racing entirely,” she said.
The government says it will adopt all but one of the 122 recommendations of the Greyhound Industry Reform Panel which was set up after then-premier Mike Baird sensationally backed down on his ban on the sport in October.
An independent integrity commission, separate from the sport’s commercial operations, will be created and there will be stricter controls on euthanasia and tougher penalties, including life bans, for live baiting.
Racing Minister Paul Toole said on Tuesday the government would contribute $30 million over five years to implement the reforms with an additional $11 million set aside for the new welfare body.