NSW greyhounds ‘Fair Go Rally’ opens with passionate plea

A STRONG crowd made up of greyhound trainers, owners and lovers has begun its fight against an industry-wide ban in NSW at the Fair Go Rally in Hyde Park.

With more than 1500 in attendance, leading trainer Noelene Holloway kicked things off on stage, pleading for common sense to prevail and for her community to be saved.

“Make no mistake, you are not just banning greyhound racing,” Holloway said.

“You are banning a community of thousands who interact with each other, love each other and love our dogs.

“It (the NSW ban on greyhound racing) is an absolute disgrace.”

Leader of the NSW Labor party, Luke Foley, then addressed the crowd, promising to lead the fight against the ban.

“I am totally opposed to Mr. Baird’s shut down of your industry,” Foley said, to big applause.

“I and my Labor colleagues will fight inside and outside parliament against this shutdown.”

Foley highlighted the contribution the greyhound industry makes to the state and lambasted the Government’s hasty decision to bring it down.

“This is not the sort of thing we can accept in a free and democratic country,” he said.

Fair Go Rally

“The shut down of an industry that contributes $335 million to our state’s economy every year. An industry and sport that returns taxes to the state government of more than $30 million a year to schools and hospitals.

“Your sport makes a contribution to the social fabric of our society. It fills Government coffers.”

In many arguments against greyhound racing in the weeks since the ban, animal cruelty has been the main justification for the ban. Foley argued strongly against the point.

“Mr. Baird’s announcement on social media, without a jot of conversation with thousands of good men and women in the sport of greyhound racing, is a tyrannical measure, masquerading as a humane gesture,” he said.

“This is not a measure that will enhance animal welfare.

“Now we see that the Government has to engage and plan to partner with a crematorium – such will be the mass slaughter of greyhounds under Mr Baird’s plan.

“Mr Baird’s plan is a plan that will inevitably result in the slaughter of thousands of loved greyhounds.

Fair Go Rally

Foley went on to banish trainers and criminals engaging in animal cruelty that have given the sport a bad name and presented a plan for the industry’s future.

“If you’re engaged in animal cruelty, get out of the industry – there’s no place for you,” he said.

“But, if you’re one of the tens of thousands of people who’s love for your greyhound dominates every single day of your life, I’ll stand with you. Labor will stand with you.


“Everything I have heard only strengthens my faith that there are so many good men and women in this industry that we shouldn’t give up on.

“The journey of reform has to continue and I’ll be putting a plan before state parole that would implement many recommendations, to ensure animal welfare.

If there have been acts of animal cruelty, Foley said it reflected on the laws, the resources and supervision of the industry, which is a slight on NSW Premier Mike Baird, who has faced extreme heat since the announcement to ban greyhound racing from July 1, 2017.

“It’s a failure of Government – a Government happy to take the taxes, but not provide the oversight that you’ve all been calling for,” Foley said.

Foley said that a Parliament debate and vote would take place “perhaps this week, probably next week” on the motion. But whatever happens in Parliament it is unlikely to be the final chapter in what is looming as a messy saga.

AustralianRacingGreyhound.com.au will keep you updated as more information comes to hand.

Past Discussion

  1. dogem53 John Tracey Deborah555 DaveSampson75 Hi Dogem53, your right about the swears but I am only tough on my friends, you are going great it will put an extra 10 years on your life. Deborah is a bit of a smiling assassin as well.

  2. John Tracey Hugh_ dogem53 Deborah555 I guess the reason I say my views are not radical is that I don’t necessarily encounter overwhelming resistance or disagreement with them (as far as the core principles go), it’s more that people haven’t thought about things from that perspective, or at all, which as you say is often due to visibility.  If these things aren’t visible people don’t give them much contemplation.  I suppose it could be viewed as radical to be raising these issues at all, and certainly certain choices I make as a result of these views could be seen as radical because they are not the practices of mainstream society.

    You’re not having a senior moment, that is an ethical dilemma I potentially face.  Previously I did research on cane toads and that required killing many of them.  Mind you the nature of the research was not particularly unpleasant (no invasive procedures) and they were killed humanely.  But this was when I still had eggs for breakfast every morning and meat for every lunch and dinner, so I wasn’t giving much contemplation to these things at the time.  However the day that I had to kill 100 of them and sat there with an ever growing pile of twitching bodies on the bench beside me was somewhat traumatic.  My current research is on insects so I don’t have to worry about this right now, which was more just a turn of fate than a choice I made for ethical reasons.  But going forward I may stick with research on insects and other invertebrate species.  I had originally intended to do mammalian research, but I’m not sure how I feel about that anymore.  But really it depends on the nature of the research.  I’m not necessarily against research on vertebrates, and the welfare regulations for my particular areas are very strict.

  3. dogem53 Deborah555 Hugh_ I don’t have kids.  I get where you’re coming from, and when you put it like that then no, I have no real objection.  The problem is there is more to it than that.  The comparison of parents putting their children isn’t a sports program isn’t quite apt, to make the analogy more appropriate the parents would have to be breeding many children to obtain the few that are good at sport and can earn them money, and euthanizing the ones that aren’t good performers.  I would certainly object to any humans doing that with their children, just as I object to people doing that with dogs.

    A commercial industry is not required for dogs to be able to enjoy racing, it’s when money is involved that animals suffer.  If people want to get together and race their pet dogs as a hobby, then I have no objection to that.  What I object to is the existence of a system that provides financial incentives to engage in behaviour that harms animals.  it seems to be that the safest way to safeguard the welfare of animals is not to allow them to be units of profit, because profit and welfare will inevitably come into conflict.

    I would have no objection to greyhound racing under the following conditions:

    1. Zero wastage, every dog bred by the industry must be looked after by the industry for the duration of life

    2. Dogs that obtain treatable injuries as a direct result of races or training for races must have their medical expenses covered

    Do you think the industry could remain viable under these restrictions?  I’m skeptical.  There have been multiple articles on this website defending wastage as justified and necessary, and this is because a competitive breeding program produces a lot more uncompetitive dogs than competitive ones.

    And then you have the problem of how you enforce such restrictions?  It would extremely difficult.  Personally I believe that all businesses that profit from animals should be under 24/7 live video surveillance that is accessible by the public at any time.  This is the only thing that can safeguard animal welfare.  Animals can’t speak up for themselves, and it is too easy and too tempting for people to sacrifice their welfare in order to maximise profits.  History has shown us that this will always happen.  They are just too vulnerable to exploitation, and they can never do anything about it.  Even if an animal escapes it cannot tell others of its mistreatment.

    It’s not just about dogs experiencing the joy of running, that’s great and I support that, the problem is it’s also about making money from those dogs, and that’s a bad mix.

    I’m always open to being persuaded of a different view.

  4. dogem53 DaveSampson75  I have already stated that the ABC that I once respected for it’s objective news reporting seems to have adopted a “60 minutes” style of reporting. Whilst I can understand given the 24 hour news cycle and the international competition why some of the commercial stations might need to pander to some of the less honourable human emotions for the sake of market share and their shareholder dividends but the ABC is funded by the tax payer so the motives can only be political.

    Whilst I thought the emotional and gut wrenching story about the abuse of Aboriginal boys in detention was needed where is the follow up? Where’s the pressure to do something more about this?

    No Jarryd’s back so we can now just rest on our laurels and start speculating about what this man had for breakfast. Reports that over 300 international  bodies are objecting to  allegations  that some of the  most poverty stricken and powerless people in the world are being shot in the streets without a trial gets one story Jarryd ten stories all speculating about gossip not even facts about him. Is this type of journalism what the Australian tax payer is paying for.

  5. BJoe  Using the tax payers money as well I presume BJoe to do this? yeah stuff education and health tax payers money should go to protecting this fool’s enormous ego.

  6. Hugh_ dogem53 Deborah555 Hugh a lot of what you are discussing is very helpful and contains things that I have put up to the special commission of inquiry to support sustainability, I will take your post to round table on this subject. I have run in to a lot of work with deadlines but I will get back to you.

    Just on the visibility aspects this is the best reference I use http://www.palgrave.com/cn/book/9780230243873

    In case the prompt does not work.

    Animals, Equality and Democracy

    Authors: O’Sullivan, S.

    The effective legislation on the preventation unnecessary cruelty was first muted to put light on the dark corners of animal experimentation..

  7. John Tracey Hugh_ dogem53 Deborah555 Sounds interesting John, keen to hear of any outcomes.  Thanks for the link, looks like a good resource worth tracking down.

  8. dogem53 Hugh_ John Tracey Deborah555 Dogem I have to say I don’t really understand your critique.

    Of course I want to see an end to animal suffering today, just as I want to see an end to the war in the middle east, homelessness, gender inequality, and every other injustice that I perceive to exist, today.  That doesn’t mean I’m naive enough to think these things will necessarily change any time soon or even in my lifetime, but the most sure way to guarantee that nothing will ever change is if everyone accepts the status quo.  So I make my arguments, I stand up for what I think is right, I write to politicians, I do my political campaigning, and I try to set the example that I want others to follow.  I do what I feel I can to try and move things in the direction that I would like to see them go.

    I accept that others have different views, I try to engage them in reasoned debate, and I try to understand where they are coming from, and I’m always open to changing my views.  I’m sure that I get emotional sometimes but I don’t think that I lose sight of the goal, and I certainly don’t physically assault anyone to try and get my point across.

    I’m sure there are many crazies on both sids of every debate that have unhelpful tactics and misguided motivations, but that’s not me (at least not to the extent you have described).  And if I see behaviour by others that are championing my cause but doing it in a way that I don’t think is constructive I will say or do something about it.

    I think we can all agree that face to face communication is always the best method of communication, but it’s not always practical.  And I would also add that you should be able to judge the merits of an argument without meeting someone or knowing anything about them.  If someone has a valid argument, then they have a valid argument, and that should stand irrespective of anything else about them personally.  This obsession that many people have with attacking the messenger instead of the message is a serious obstacle to constructive discussion.

    Finally, to circle back to the original point you made, I think our evolutionary history or how long a given practice has existed is not an overly relevant piece of information when it comes to ethical debates.  It might be informative in understanding why things are the way they are, but it’s not an argument I accept in favour of why things should or shouldn’t be a certain way.  For example, gender inequality was a fact of life for our species for the vast majority of our history.  Women have been oppressed by men consistently across all cultures I’m aware of until very recently in our history, and this has only changed in some cultures, and to varying degrees.  This is something that has evolutionary roots, and thus remained unchanged for a very long time.  This doesn’t mean that we should accept the oppression of women, or lessen our efforts to eradicate it as quickly and effectively as we know how.  We have decided as a society that gender equality is something that we value and the fact that our ancestors didn’t agree doesn’t alter this fact.  I could just have easily used racism in that example instead, or many other things.

    So the fact that we have oppressed animals to varying degrees throughout human history is not overly relevant to me, it certainly in no way justifies it.  It does, however, factor into my understanding that it is going to be a long and difficult battle to improve animal welfare in our society and that every welfare reform must be fought for with great determination.