From live baiting, to the routine killing of tens of thousands of healthy dogs, the greyhound racing industry has raised community ire in recent years for its flagrant animal cruelty. Now, after a 13 month enquiry by the Department of Justice, Mike Baird has announced that the practice will soon be banned in New South Wales. On Facebook, Baird wrote: "I feel much empathy for innocent trainers and those who will lose their job or hobby as a result of this. And I understand the disappointment of people who enjoy having a punt on the dogs. But we simply cannot and will not stand-by and allow the widespread and systemic mistreatment of animals." Greyhound racing is legal in only eight countries, and New South Wales is the first Australian state to ban the practice.
When will greyhound racing be banned in NSW?
The industry will be "transitioned to closure" over the next twelve months. The RSPCA will work with the state government and the industry to ensure the continued welfare of the animals involved. Then, on July 1 2017, greyhound racing will become illegal.
What will happen to the dog parks?
The Department of Justice say that greyhound racing facilities will be used for "open public space, alternative sporting facilities or other community use." So, no, it doesn't look like Wentworth Park will be converted into apartment complexes just yet.
Tell me more...
Here is Mike Baird's full Facebook post. And if you've been thinking of adopting a greyhound, now might be a very good time.