A SPOKESPERSON from the Department of Premier and Cabinet has failed to acknowledge the breeding cap of 2,000 greyhound pups born per annum is off the table.
The figure was originally mentioned by the NSW Greyhound Racing Industry Alliance in its letter to Premier Mike Baird on August 9 as a part of four guarantees which the industry could commit to if the greyhound racing ban was overturned.
These guarantees on August 9 were specifically highlighted within the terms of reference for the new Greyhound Industry Reform Panel, to be led by former Premier Morris Iemma.
Despite being included in the terms of reference, the Alliance’s Brenton Scott, who is also a member of the Reform Panel, told Australian Racing Greyhound last week that the breeding cap of 2,000 pups per year was no longer valid.
“The Alliance have raised [the 2,000 breeding cap] specifically with the Premier and Deputy Premier,” Scott said.
“Since [August 9] the Alliance has taken its position to Greyhounds Australasia and has explained that the concept of a controlled breeding program needs to have a national focus.
“We need to understand what’s needed to cater for the entire national racing program at a given time and all of our planning needs to be between two and five years ahead.
“We obviously can’t breed more than we need to cater for that racing program, once we ensure the national level and the flow between states, then it will become an easier process to determine the breeding levels that should apply in each state.
“It’s not about approaching this issue from a breeding cap point of view, but approaching it from an appreciation that we shouldn’t be breeding excess to our racing needs and we shouldn’t be breeding excess to our capacity to re-home in a manner that is line with community expectations.”
However, when Australian Racing Greyhound attempted to confirm this with the Premier’s office on Monday, a spokesperson from the Department of Premier and Cabinet indicated that the cap was still set to play a part in the Panel’s considerations.
“The Government has appointed a Greyhound Industry Reform Panel to determine the new regime that will ensure greyhound racing in NSW prioritises animal welfare, has a robust governance structure and a tough independent regulator to monitor the industry,” the spokesperson said.
“The Panel will consider a number of reports including the recommendations of the Report of the Special Commission of Inquiry, as well as the industry reform guarantees regarding breeding caps put forward by the Greyhound Racing Industry Alliance in August.
“The Government will give the Panel the time it needs to complete its work.”