7 Jul 2016

Greyhound racing banned in NSW

3:23 pm on 7 July 2016

Greyhound racing to be banned in New South Wales after comission of inquiry finds overwhelming evidence of animal cruelty.

A greyhound muzzles fake bait

A greyhound muzzles fake bait Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Greyhound racing will be banned in New South Wales from July 1 next year, with Premier Mike Baird saying the "widespread and systemic mistreatment of animals" cannot be tolerated.

It comes after a special commission of inquiry found overwhelming evidence of systemic animal cruelty, including mass greyhound killings and live baiting.

Mr Baird said the Government had received the report of the commission, conducted by former High Court judge Michael McHugh, and the findings were damning.

The move comes after the ABC's Four Corners program exposed widespread and extreme animal cruelty and cheating through the use of live baiting to entice and train greyhounds.

Internal documents revealed senior greyhound racing administrators in NSW were actively strategising to downplay live baiting in the industry in the days before the program was set to air.

The revelations were followed by a string of animal cruelty court cases and the special commission of inquiry in NSW.

Mr Baird said the industry was not capable in the short or medium term of reforming and in the coming months the Government would be working toward an orderly shutdown.

In his recommendation to Parliament, Mr McHugh said it should be considered whether the industry had lost its "social licence" to operate and should be shut down.

He said his alternative recommendation was extensive reform, including tighter regulation. But he said if the industry continued, there was a "very real risk" that live baiting would continue.

Mr Baird said the decision showed the State Government was making animal welfare a priority.