GREYHOUND trainer Amanda Ginn choked back tears as she described the relief she felt when Premier Mike Baird announced his controversial ban on the sport would be overturned on Tuesday.
Ginn has been involved in the sport for 35 years and currently trains from a property at Cudal in the NSW Central West with her partner Craig and brother Glenn.
“I am just so happy for everyone,” she said.
“My emotions are pretty high at the moment – to get this result after what everyone has been through over the past three months,” Ginn told Australian Racing Greyhound.
“It’s a relief for everyone that our lives can go ahead, we can keep our dogs and we can keep racing.”
Ginn slammed the Baird government for making its original decision to ban the sport, which caused widespread devastation throughout the industry.
“I have a lifetime of memories having grown up in the industry since I was five years old and it is something I wasn’t prepared to lose in the blink of an eye because of one man,” she said.
“It was ridiculous that one person could ban an entire industry based on lies and innuendo from other groups such as activists and those who have no idea how the industry works.
“The grief that this government put people through for three months will never be forgotten.”
The industry is now bracing itself for a turbulent few months as a newly formed panel, led by former premier Morris Iemma, formulates a series of reforms which are set to include tough breeding restrictions, strict animal welfare policies and harsh penalties for anyone found breaching the rules.
Ginn said she would welcome changes introduced for the industry if they assist in better welfare, integrity and regulatory outcomes.
“If the rules are too harsh the sport will die off, but there are things that need to be changed and they need to be changed now – and if people don’t want to abide they need to leave the sport.
“I do agree that breeding does have to be brought down, people needed to be regulated in regards to what they are breeding with and how many pups they are breeding – if you are not prepared to look after what you breed, don’t breed at all.
“Dogs will be sold from within NSW, but if something simply isn’t up to your standard, that dog should be your responsibility.
“Every dog has to have a future once it has finished racing – greyhound people understand that and I have plenty of pets here who will be with me until the day they die.
“In some circumstances people’s lives change and they can’t look after their greyhounds, so if we had a complex or a future fund set up to ensure those dogs would be looked after, I would be all for that.”
For now, Ginn says she is just relieved to know the sport she loves will continue past July 1, 2017.
“Every day over the past three months I have had go down to my kennels and look them in the eyes and know that maybe one day I could never take them out and go to a racetrack again – that would not only break my heart, it would break their hearts too because they love to run.
“My dogs mean everything to me and I couldn’t imagine my life without them. Now I can look at them and say ‘we won’.”