Mike Knott BUN260316GREYHOUNDS14

Other states called on to follow NSW greyhound ban

THERE are calls for the New South Wales ban on greyhound racing to be replicated across the country

The call comes at the same time as activists express fears that out-of-work NSW dogs could be killed en masse.

Premier Mike Baird announced the state's greyhound industry would be banned from July next year, citing a culture of animal cruelty that had been allowed to continue unchecked for too long.

Animal protection groups have applauded the move and called for other states and territories to follow suit.

Animal Welfare League NSW chief executive officer Andrew Mason said the group would be keeping a close eye on trainers to ensure their dogs were protected from euthanisation.

"AWL NSW has been a long-term supporter of the Greyhound Adoption Program NSW, and we are here to assist government and the industry during this transition period," he said.

"People would be surprised at what amazing pets greyhounds can make, and we encourage the public to take the opportunity to adopt greyhounds as and when they become available.

"As an enforcement agency under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, we will be monitoring the welfare of greyhounds during this transition period."

Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon said there was no reason why other governments should not implement similar bans.

"The Greens will also continue to call for an end to the export of greyhounds overseas for breeding and racing," she said.

"In many jurisdictions in the US, and now here in NSW, governments have taken the proper steps to ban greyhound racing in the interests of animal welfare.

"Now we need to turn our attention to other states where this cruel industry is still legal.

"Today, Greens in Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia have called upon their state governments to ban this industry."

Unions NSW secretary Mark Morey wrote the ban off as a "dog of a decision" that ignored the welfare of more than 5000 workers.

"Thousands of men and women employed both directly and indirectly by the industry will instantly have to start assessing how they are going to pay their bills and look after their families," he said.

"For a Premier of NSW to shut down an entire industry overnight without any semblance of a plan to support the thousands of workers who depend on that industry to survive is disgraceful.

"Time and time again Mr Baird has demonstrated that ordinary workers are his absolute bottom priority.

"While there has been plenty of discussion around the welfare of the animals involved in the sport, the Premier has been completely dismissive of the human beings who rely on the industry for their livelihoods."

Greyhounds Australasia CEO Scott Parker said the decision shocked him, pointing to widespread reforms already underway to fight animal cruelty.

"Since the February 2015 4 Corners program aired, the new managers of the industry in every state and territory have made meaningful and substantial reforms," he said.

"Every one of them is placing animal welfare at the centre of the decisions they are making.

"Eradicating unnecessary euthanasia is the central plank of our national vision and is being reflected in changed rules, policies, practices and standards that continue to be put in place in each state."

Greyhound Racing NSW immediately suspended all races for a week, starting Thursday.

To adopt a greyhound, visit http://www.greyhoundrescue.com.au.



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