Mike Baird Hits Back At Critics Of Greyhound Racing Ban

He's read the Facebook comments and he had a few things to say.

09/07/2016 8:53 AM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:57 PM AEST
Ivan Alvarado / Reuters
The NSW greyhound racing industry wants a ban lifted on the sport

NSW Premier Mike Baird has responded to criticism of his plan to ban greyhound racing with a Facebook post rebutting the top ten complaints being made about the proposal.

On Saturday night, Baird wrote that he had read many of the more than 10,000 comments made on his social media page and wanted to respond.

"The decision to ban greyhound racing has obviously generated a lot of discussion and questions. And I've been listening," he wrote.

"I've read many of the 10,000+ Facebook comments and other coverage in the media and I'd like to take a minute to respond to some of the questions. I particularly want to address some of the myths around this decision."

He denied that this was a land grab for developers to take over the well-situated greyhound racing tracks in the state. He refuted the claim that the Government should have engaged and consulted further with the industry, and said a real challenge was how to work with the industry over the fate of existing animals.

Meanwhile, greyhound racing clubs are gearing up to fight the looming ban on the industry, with fans of the sport set to rally against the proposed shutdown.

Fairfax Media reports that clubs across the state are setting up a fighting fund of more than $500,000 that will subsidise a battle against the Baird Government ahead of a planned shutdown of the state's industry.

Administrators from NSW race clubs were said to be in discussions on Friday night and there are reports rallies will take place against the sport's planned July 2017 closure.

The potential challenge is being led by the Greyhound Breeders Owners and Trainers Association, with the fighting fund potentially to reach $1 million in the coming weeks, according to Fairfax.

Earlier this week the government announced the industry would close on July 1 next year due to the widespread mistreatment of dogs.

An official inquiry 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."

The Government said it would consult with the industry in the lead up to the sport becoming illegal from July 2017.

This story has been updated to reflect Mike Baird's Facebook comments.

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