DESPITE NSW Racing Minister Troy Grant announcing the board and CEO of Greyhound Racing NSW had stood down overnight, Greens NSW MP and racing spokesperson John Kaye has called for an immediate suspension of all greyhound racing.
Kaye welcomed Grant’s removal of the GRNSW hierarchy and the admission self-regulation of the industry has failed, but said anything short of stopping all races would fail to prevent participants from profiting from alleged live-baiting activities.
“By refusing to suspend all greyhound races, Minister Grant is failing to stop the flow of blood money,” Kaye explained.
“He is allowing trainers and owners that have live-baited their dogs to continue to profit from their extreme cruelty.
“The live-baiting scandal goes beyond the handful of trainers exposed by ABC TV Four Corners. Any money now bet and won on a greyhound race has almost certainly been corrupted by live baiting.
“Trainers live-bait their dogs to give them a winning edge. All races must be suspended to stop these participants profiting from their unconscionable behaviour and the opportunity for any incentive for the practice to continue.”
Kaye said further investments were required to ensure greyhounds were properly catered for should there be a suspension of racing.
“Urgent action is needed to protect the welfare of the dogs whose owners and trainers have been caught live baiting,” he said.
“Disqualified from racing, these dogs face a bleak future.
“As a matter of urgency the Minister must direct the government-appointed CEO to allocate existing industry funds to rehabilitate and rehome dogs that have been brutalised by live baiting.
“If the Minister fails to prioritise the rehoming of dogs that have been blooded, he is perpetuating the animal welfare crisis.
“Greyhounds are typically gentle and friendly companions. It is criminal that GRNSW has allowed participants to train these dogs to maul defenceless animals in a despicable grab for greater profits.”
Kaye also commented on the announcement of a new taskforce, to investigate training methods used in NSW and to supervise the running of trial tracks and training establishments.
The taskforce is also set to ensure that GRNSW and other agencies, such as RSPCA NSW, are powerful enough to fully investigate any alleged animal welfare issues within the sport.
The taskforce will be headed by former High Court justice and eminent legal practitioner Michael McHugh AC, QC.
“Minister Grant’s new inquiry should be open and accountable, in stark contrast to the body it is investigating,” Kaye said.
“The terms of reference would be published and the hearings should be open to the public wherever possible.
“It is critical that the panel consults with the organisations whose bravery and commitment to animal welfare exposed the abhorrent practices.”