What pet industry leaders say about reversal of Greyhound Racing ban in NSW

What pet industry leaders say about reversal of Greyhound Racing Industry ban in NSW

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What pet industry leaders say about reversal of Greyhound racing ban – RSPCA NSW, PIAA and Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) have their say as reported in Pet Industry News Newsletter 17th October 2016. 

RSPCA NSW, PIAA and AVA give their response to the reversal of Greyhound Racing Industry ban

RSPCA NSW – Steve Coleman

After careful consideration and following a further meeting with NSW Premier Mike Baird, RSPCA NSW CEO Steve Coleman has this afternoon agreed to be a member of the Greyhound Industry Reform Panel.

“Before agreeing to sit on the Panel, we wanted to be certain that animal welfare would be the guiding principle of the Panel’s deliberations,” said Mr Coleman. “I have received this commitment from the Premier as well as commitments to the process and operation of the Panel.”

RSPCA NSW goes in to the Panel with the strong view that the implementation of the animal welfare and governance recommendations of the McHugh Special Commission are the starting point to effective and meaningful reform. These recommendations are the result of the most detailed investigation into the Greyhound racing industry in history and provide a strong evidence base for measurable and accountable reform.

While the RSPCA remains disappointed with the government’s change in policy, it believes its involvement in the Panel is the only way to give a voice to animal welfare concerns and considerations.
“RSPCA NSW’s members, supporters and the community expect us to be at the table advocating for the welfare of Greyhounds in the industry,” said Mr Coleman.

PIAA – Mark Fraser

Peak industry body disappointed at Premier’s reversal on Greyhound racing ban.

PIAA supported the animal welfare aspects of the recent ban on greyhound racing in NSW. The industry has a long history of mistreatment and welfare abuse. Admittedly, not all in the industry are guilty, but a culture of mass killings, turning a blind eye and live baiting should not be tolerated for any reason.

Premier Mike Baird’s reversal of his decision to shut down the industry is a black day for animal welfare.
There is talk of less tracks, fewer events, stronger regulation, tougher consequences and a closer eye on the industry.

Unfortunately, as we have seen with puppy mills and puppy factories, unless there is a true commitment to enforcement, then none of this matters. The unscrupulous continue to profit, the animals continue to suffer and the money keeps rolling in.

“Sugar coat the new rules and regulations all you want, but unless there is a clear and dedicated plan to educate, implement and enforce, it is all a spit in the ocean.” said PIAA CEO Mark Fraser. “Animal welfare is the focus here, not votes, not money, not popularity”.

AVA – David Neck

The NSW government must be accountable for improvements in greyhound welfare after reversing its decision to shut down the greyhound racing industry.

“The Premier made a commitment to greyhound welfare in July, and that commitment should be honoured,” said Dr David Neck, spokesperson for the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA).

“The NSW government must ensure the greyhound industry adheres to the highest possible standards, and commit adequate financial and human resources to the task.

“The first step is for the government to implement and fully fund the recommendations of the McHugh report, starting with the recommendations for truly independent regulation, separate from the commercial and operational aspects of the industry. We need a truly independent system that allows veterinarians to proactively speak out and improve greyhound welfare.

“It’s not good enough to only go halfway. The government really needs to demonstrate its commitment to fixing the problems highlighted by Justice McHugh, and making sure there is enough money to fund them.

“The veterinary profession will be watching closely, and will be actively involved in delivering better welfare for racing greyhounds. From a strategic level through to the policy and on-track aspects of the industry, veterinarians will be more involved than ever, and speaking out against poor welfare wherever they find it.

‘We look forward to working with the government and the industry so that the welfare issues in this industry are a thing of the past,” Dr Neck said.