Bulahdelah greyhound owners relieved racing ban was reversed

GREYHOUNDS: Mick Worth and James Saunders
GREYHOUNDS: Mick Worth and James Saunders

Local greyhound owners have welcomed the NSW Government’s decision to overturn the ban on Greyhound Racing and give the Industry one last chance.

Local greyhound breeder James Saunders said while everyone is relieved that racing will continue, the decision hasn’t taken away any of the anger felt during the past three months.

“It was extremely stressful, I’m a breeder predominantly and I couldn’t sell the dogs, couldn’t give them away and compensation wasn’t guaranteed,” he said.

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“I had no money coming in, a mortgage to pay and dogs to feed, it was pretty cruel what they did to us.”

Premier Mike Baird admitted in Parliament last week that the decision to shut down the entire NSW Greyhound Racing Industry had been mistake.

“I got it wrong, the Cabinet got it wrong, the Government got it wrong,” he said.

“The greyhound industry will be given a last chance, providing it meets the toughest animal welfare and regulation requirements in the country.”

Former Premier Morris Iemma will chair a Greyhound Industry Reform Panel that will determine the new regime.

The details of reforms are unclear at this stage but could include fewer races and capping the number of dogs breed to 2000.

Owner and trainer Mick Worth said while the local greyhound community are relieved the government have reversed the ban, they are proceeding with caution.

“The decision has been made due to political pressure and nothing else,” he said.

“Mr Baird was adamant that banning greyhound racing was the right thing to do and under no circumstances could the industry be reformed, but with his leadership now being questioned he’s prepared to backflip.”

Mr Worth said as Premier Mike Baird had completed so many backflips in the past week, he should consider taking up gymnastics.

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