Mike Baird stands by his decision to ban greyhound racing

PREMIER Mike Baird is determined in his mission to end greyhound racing in NSW, repeating his stance at a press conference on Thursday, exactly one week after his bombshell announcement shook the greyhound industry to its core.

Having met with industry representatives throughout the day, Baird said he was still confident in his decision which will see the sport become illegal as of July 1, 2017.

“Today the Deputy Premier (Troy Grant) and I have had a difficult, but constructive and necessary meeting with the industry,” Baird said.

“This is not an easy time, we understand the difficulties the industry is facing and we are determined to do everything we can to support them in the transition.

“In the discussion with the industry we made it very clear to them that this was not an easy decision.

“It weighed heavy on our hearts as we made the decision, but we have made it.

“We also said to them very clearly that we want to work with them in the transition on two fronts; both with the welfare with the dogs and how we support them, and at the same time how we help and support those within the industry.”

Baird also announced John Keniry as the person in charge of a task force which has been put in place to oversee the close down of the industry.

“What we will be looking at over the next few months is talking to people as widely as we can so we understand the issues and then putting together a package which hopefully will provide a smooth transition for this industry,” Keniry said.

“We will focused on working with all the participants within the industry…and doing a thorough and a fair job with due regard to animal welfare.”

Also speaking at the press conference was Deputy Premier and Racing Minister Troy Grant who remains confident in his decision, despite several NSW Nationals Party members coming forward to state they oppose the greyhound racing ban.

“I have spoken to every one of the NSW Nationals Party members, being 24 in total, and/or have communicated by way of text with them,” he said.

“What we have heard in the public commentary is particularly three of the members of the National Party who have raised their individual concerns and in regards to the process by which they learned of the decision.

“I have given my members no instructions in relation to how they should form their view.

“I dont gag the National Party members from representing their communities and saying what they think.”

The legislation to ban greyhound racing in NSW is set to be brought before the Parliament on August 2.

Past Discussion

  1. pretty damn pathetic when NEWSON,interviewed on SYDNEY RADIO today, ADMITS THE INDUSTRY WAS MAKING PROGRESS in cleaning up its act.

    the two points he kept thrusting in front of the interviewer(BEN FORDHAM) was the attitude of trainers/owners who INSISTED ON USING DEAD CARCASSES,and the breeding situation.

    NEWSON admitted they had no reports of continuing LIVE BAITING since the original case blew open,they did receive SOME inside iformation,but nothing substantial that could/would raise the live baiting again.

    so,here we have the man in charge of running GRNSW, at first being heavily confronted by angry dog people,but as time goes along,HE SEES AN IMPROVEMENT IN THE INDUSTRY AND THAT PEOPLE WERE DOING THE RIGHT THING.

    so where does BAIRD the god of the industry and the politics of the state,get the inclination to end the industry?

    he has not much to go on now,so he decides he just may have lost his one and only chance to eradicate the sport,and with McHugh retracting some statements,hell, I better act now or this will make me look so stupid. FOR IT IS WORKING NOW,and we don’t want that to occur!

    and answer this someone. if you knew who the ANGRY BREEDERS/TRAINERS were who demanded NEWSON leave things as they are at his early reign of CEO, would you not be peed off that those people MAY JUST BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE INDUSTRY SHUTTING DOWN IN NSW? and not NEWSON or the government?

    what would you think then?

  2. dogem53 The industry can’t operate without breeding huge numbers of surplus animals that must be either euthanised or thrust into an already overcrowded pool of unwanted pets.  How do you propose to fix that problem?  The problem is that proponents of the industry don’t have a problem with mass euthanasia, but the public does.  That’s where you see an unwillingness to change.  In fact you have people like Bruce Teague on this very website arguing that wastage is justified because it’s necessary for the “preservation of the breed”.

    The industry has opposed breeding limits, stronger regulation, stronger inspection powers, they oppose everything.  The only thing people have been willing to universally condemn is live baiting (the very thing they were perfectly happy to accept and turn a blind eye to until it was flashed all over national tv).  Even then many people were upset that they couldn’t use a dead carcass anymore (this complaint was made in an article on this website).  In fact you can find articles complaining about all proposed reforms if you go through the archives on this website.  What change was happening was under duress, and to pretend otherwise is just dishonest.

    The fact is that better welfare = lower profits in all industries that exploit animals for profit.  While it’s true that a certain standard of welfare is required for the money making animals in any animal exploitation industry, it’s still a welfare standard that is quite low, and well below pubic expectations (when the public is actually made aware of it).  So it’s hardly a surprise that those who stand to have their profit margins diminished oppose welfare reform.  It’s the same in all animal exploitation industries whether it be racing, entertainment or agriculture.  The pressure to reform always comes from the outside and never from within.

  3. Hugh_ dogem53 

    The breeding rate in the last 12 months has been reduced by 50% I’d call that self regulation brought about by participants . Participants have accepted lower prize money in exchange for better welfare outcomes. The industry can operate without breeding huge numbers. What some participants have objected to is the administration’s obsession with kennel sizes and not the real issues which are overbreeding and not enough rehoming. So we just did it ourselves 50% reduction in 12 months without any overpaid pollie needed at all.

    A very high standard of welfare is required to get a dog to race well Hugh a very high standard. Most greyhound trainers are not in the industry to make money they do it as a hobby and a passion. Almost every dog trainer (with the exception of the few top trainers, who get all the press) everyone has far more slow dogs than fast ones. Nobody cares as long as one is good enough to feed the rest.

  4. lone widow  I think the National party politicians are the only politicians left who care about anything other than infrastructure in Sydney. Quite a few of them have stepped up to support greyhound racing. Let’s hope they continue to support, not just the greyhound people, but all the people in regional Australia.

    Baird has shown he is simply on a mission to sell every state owned income producing asset so he can pounce around about his surplus ( doesn’t say much about where the replacement for electricity generation income will come from five years from now though.) This “captain’s call” just another demonstration of his stupidity and arrogance. The speed at which he is trying to destroy the industry suggested he already has a buyer for Wentworth Park. His only concern appears to be roads in Sydney.

  5. Deborah555 Hugh_ dogem53 It doesn’t matter if the breeding has dropped by 50% or whatever %.  That doesn’t change the equation of a breeding program where the objective is to obtain fast runners.  Of the dogs bred, only a minority will have what it takes.  The rest are surplus to the industry.   Or are you suggesting that with this drop in breeding that the percentage of bred dogs that race has increased?  Is that what you’re claiming?  Unless all dogs are tracked and it can be demonstrated that none of them are killed, then the absolute number of dogs bred doesn’t prove anything.  Would you support such a system?  Every animal tracked?

    And can you do it without flooding the overcrowded space of unwanted pets with yet more unwanted animals?  Can you afford to take care of all the non-performers yourselves, or adopt them out or sell them yourselves?  Without leaning on a third party charitable organisation to do it for you?

    As for your “very high standard of welfare” I notice that as soon as you talk about welfare your focus shifts from all dogs to just those that race.  I believe you, I believe you that a dog that is profitable gets treated well (until it’s injured of course).  I also believe you that owners LOVE dogs that perform well and earn them money.  People aren’t worried about the few that perform well, they are worried about the thousands that don’t, that don’t make money, that only cost money to look after.  You say “as long as one is good enough to feed the rest”.  And what happens when one isn’t good enough to feed the rest?  Besides.  We both know there are many people that don’t operate that way.  And while your industry continues to oppose any sort of serious oversight, no one can just take your word for it that everyone operates like that.

  6. Hugh_ Deborah555 dogem53  whether a dog is fast Hugh is relative to the other runners. With less dogs the times might go down but racing can still occur. I can assure you Hugh that my retired greyhounds are looked after well and loved and cared for regardless of how much money they won or actually didn’t win might be a more accurate statement. Any greyhound in my kennel is cared for and fed well regardless of their ability.

    Greyhounds are tracked Hugh. Pups are micro-chipped before three months of age, registered if they race.

    Well Hugh if you haven’t got a fast one you race the slower ones for the unplaced prize money.