Please send this letter to:
Dear Premier Berejiklian,
Congratulations on your appointment as Premier of NSW.
I am writing to you to ask that you please continue the good work of your predecessor on greyhound racing in NSW.
In particular, I am concerned with the industry’s resistance to their promised reforms. Please ensure that your government’s guidelines to reform are adhered to and enforced on an ongoing basis.
Community Support for a Ban
Despite the intense News Corporation criticism of Baird’s ban on greyhound racing in NSW, the majority of NSW’s citizens support the ban (see: http://www.skynews.com.au/news/national/nsw/2016/10/08/community-supports-racing-ban–rspca.html). Thousands of people rallied in Sydney last October to protest the ban reversal (see: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-10-23/animal-rights-activists-call-for-return-of-greyhound-racing-ban/7957760).
If you plan to truly listen to the people, then please allow the greyhound prohibition bill to stay and the ban to commence in July 2017 as proposed. Please do not listen to a private corporation that has used its media companies to attack the ban (primarily through The Daily Telegraph) while neglecting to publicise its ownership of the betting company punters.com.au or to shock jocks trying to boost their ratings by being controversial; this undermines our democratic system and is out of line with community sentiments.
Premier Baird’s resolve to hold the industry accountable was unfortunately weakened; we hope yours is not.
Evidence of Inability of Industry to Reform
On the day Baird announced a reversal of the ban, a greyhound trainer was charged with live baiting greyhounds in his western Sydney backyard (see: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/greyhound-trainer-chad-achurch-obtained-license-despite-criminal-record-requirements-20161011-grzue9.html). The industry that begged for a second chance then flaunted their arrogance by killing five greyhounds at the track over the next few days (http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/five-greyhounds-killed-since-mike-bairds-racing-ban-reversal-20161017-gs3zye.html).
Since then, we have seen GRNSW issue lenient or non-existent punishments for criminal actions and animal cruelty for acts as heinous as ripping the tail off an injured dog or using a cattle prod on a greyhound (e.g. see: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/greyhound-trainer-cleared-of-ripping-off-dogs-tail-20161217-gtd9dq.html; http://www.smh.com.au/sport/horseracing/trainer-who-used-cattle-prod-on-greyhound-unlikely-to-face-criminal-charges-20161130-gt1edr).
Also, despite the government’s reassurance that tough new measures would be taken to prevent the industry from going back to its old ways, industry participants are now backflipping on their own guaranteed reforms such as the breeding cap of 2,000 puppies a year (http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/greyhound-industry-tipped-to-drop-vow-to-limit-pup-numbers-to-1453-yearly/news-story/3ef4ded0d8a3db1959e8f5144ed0c806).
The industry has also rejected the government’s own reform demands of reducing the number of tracks and race events and the $1,500 bond for every race dog bred.
Deaths and Injuries Continue
Data on deaths and injuries for 2016 from GRNSW’s quarterly reports and stewards reports reveal at least 163 deaths and 2,233 injuries.
In the period since Mike Baird announced the NSW government’s intention to repeal the greyhound racing ban legislation on 12 October 2016, at least 20 dogs were put down at tracks after sustaining injuries (many treatable) while racing. A further 377 (including 15 fractures/breaks) were injured.
Note: Death and injury statistics from a further 60 race meetings during this same 81-day period are not available online, but race results for those meetings reveal 40 dogs either fell, broke down or failed to finish the race.
In conclusion, please do not allow the corrupt and criminal practices of this industry to continue. The McHugh report identified such abhorrent and despicable practices that its number one recommendation was to shut the industry down. Premier Baird did the right, moral and honourable thing by announcing a shutdown. Unfortunately, the pressure from companies with a vested interest in keeping the industry going and opportunistic political parties caused Premier Baird to crumble.
Please show your strength and do the right thing by our democracy and for the dogs who are the unfortunate victims of this cruelty.
Please send this letter to: