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NSW To Ban Greyhound Racing After Cruelty Report

Comes after "widespread illegal and unconscionable activity".

07/07/2016 11:56 AM AEST | Updated July 15, 2016 12:56

NSW Premier Mike Baird has announced his state will be the first in the country to ban greyhound racing.

The announcement, made on Thursday morning, comes after several investigations found animal cruelty at the heart of the industry. The government claimed its greyhound racing inquiry had found that "between 48,000 and 68,000 greyhounds – or at least half of all greyhounds bred to race – were killed in the past 12 years because they were deemed uncompetitive." It also stated that "up to 20 per cent of trainers engage in live baiting and 180 greyhounds a year sustain "catastrophic injuries" during races, such as skull fractures and broken backs that resulted in their immediate deaths."

Baird said "over the coming months", the government would "consult with the industry", and information on the government's greyhound racing inquiry said the sport would become illegal from July 2017.

Since the announcement ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr said "there is no future" for greyhound racing in the ACT.

"Having had an initial look at the NSW report, we agree with the decision of the NSW government," Barr wrote in a Facebook post.

"We will consider the findings of the NSW report before announcing a process to end the practice of greyhound racing in the ACT. The findings from the Special Commission of Inquiry into the NSW greyhound racing industry are damning."

A report from the inquiry said there was overwhelming evidence of systematic animal cruelty including "mass greyhound killings" and "live baiting".

"The inquiry's report concluded that the NSW Greyhound Racing Industry has fundamental animal welfare issues, integrity and governance failings that can not be remedied", stated the report.

"The NSW Government will announce a detailed industry shutdown plan during the second half of 2016 following consultation with stakeholders in industry and animal welfare organisations."

The plan would include welfare plans for existing greyhounds, support packages for the industry, and a "transition arrangement for existing Greyhound Racing NSW assets that will ensure they are used for open public space, alternative sporting facilities or other community use."

The spotlight was shone on the greyhound industry after a landmark, Walkley-winning report from Four Corners found widespread live baiting and mistreatment of animals.

Greens NSW MP and Animal Welfare Spokesperson Dr Mehreen Faruqi described the decision as "absolutely incredible and in many ways unprecedented.

"This is a win for animals," Faruqi said.

"Animal welfare activists have worked tirelessly for this outcome for so many years.

"Our focus must now be on the welfare of the animals in the industry to ensure that they are rehomed and given appropriate support."

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Tabcorp shares took a hit shortly after Premier Mike Baird announced the ban


NSW greyhound racing represents around 5 percent of betting agency Tabcorp's total wagering turnover, the betting agency said in a statement.

"However, Tabcorp expects a significant level of substitution will occur to other wagering product, such as thoroughbred racing, harness racing, sport and animated racing, the company said in a statement.

"Tabcorp's media business, Sky Racing, will work with other Australian and international racing industry bodies to source alternative racing product."

For more information on the greyhound inquiry, its report and its findings, click here.

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