Greyhound industry pushes as MPs consider crossing floor

WITH hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of jobs at stake, the New South Wales Greyhound Racing Alliance has launched an advertising campaign calling for the Baird Government to give the industry a "fair go".

The advertisements will run primarily in print and radio formats in regional NSW, although a heartstring-pulling television ad featuring one lone black greyhound bounding through the night and racing families coming together at the track has also aired.

NSW Greyhound Breeders, Owners and Trainers' Association chief executive Brenton Scott said the industry would not stop until the NSW Government overturned its decision to ban greyhound racing from July next year.

"We are going to keep working relentlessly to ensure the NSW Government gives our industry a fair go," he said.

"The advertising campaign is one further step in our industry's plan to fight this decision.

"We seek and deserve proper engagement with the Premier and the NSW government on a timeframe for industry reform.

"Tens of thousands of people in the greyhound racing industry will have their livelihoods destroyed by this knee-jerk decision.

"Many thousands more enjoy watching races and are involved the community of racing."

Mr Scott said hundreds of industry suppliers from vets and pet food businesses to trackside caterers would lose their jobs if the ban went ahead.

He said the industry was already in the process of cleaning up its act and putting an end to animal cruelty and slaughter.

"We believe we should be allowed the time and opportunity to prove that greyhound racing can be viable and sustainable whilst being centrally focused on the total lifecycle management of greyhounds as the community expects," he said.

Labor has called on Nationals MPs to cross the floor when Premier Mike Baird introduces the ban legislation to parliament next week.

Nationals Leader Troy Grant has repeatedly stated the party supports the ban, but several MPs including Oxley MP Belinda Pavey, Barwon MP Kevin Humphries and Clarence MP Chris Gulaptis have all flagged their opposition.

Mr Humphries told ABC on Friday he feared a greyhound ban could set a precedent for the prohibition of other sports like harness racing.

"Either way, I won't be supporting, whether that comes as crossing the floor or not," he said.

"If harness racing and the thoroughbreds haven't got their eye on this, they need to."

Shadow Minister for Primary Industries Mick Veitch said Nationals MPs had to stand up for regional communities and an industry that generated $335.7 million a year for the state's economy.

"Country Labor calls on the National Party to do the right thing by their communities and stand up to the Liberal Party and join with Labor in fighting a ban on the greyhound industry," he said.

"Abstaining from the vote is not enough; National MPs have to stand up and be counted.

"If they really care about the bush then they will stand up to Mike Baird and Troy Grant." -ARM NEWSDESK



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