Baird Government Backflips on Greyhound-Racing Ban

Posted on by PETA Australia

In a move which has shocked the nation, the New South Wales government has reversed its historic decision to ban greyhound racing in the state.

In response to rumours that this decision was a possibility, PETA released this video, urging people to contact the office of Premier Mike Baird and voice support for the ban:

Compassionate people across the country leapt into action, but unfortunately, their efforts were in vain, as the decision to backflip on the ban was soon announced.

Today is a sad day not only for the thousands of dogs who will now continue to suffer in this cruel and unjustifiable industry but also for democracy.


The government has acted on speculation about its polling numbers and pressure from individuals who stand to gain financially from this abusive industry and ignored the vast majority of New South Wales constituents who abhor the cruelty inherent in greyhound racing.


The Premier may think he is saving his political future, but they say fortune favours the brave, and in this case, Mr Baird has shown he’s anything but.


– PETA Australia Campaign Coordinator Claire Fryer


Ignoring Public Opinion

An RSPCA poll conducted just days ago revealed that over 64 per cent of New South Wales residents supported the ban on greyhound racing. This backflip is bound to anger those who do not want taxpayer money funding an industry which profits from animal abuse.

The initial decision to shut down this cruel industry was democratically voted on after much investigation, and it’s unacceptable that such a decision should be overturned under pressure from a minority.


No End in Sight to the Killing of Dogs

The timing of this announcement coincided with the revelation that a mass greyhound grave had been discovered near Tamworth, along with fresh allegations of illegal live-baiting.

And over the past 12 years in New South Wales alone, up to 68,000 dogs have been killed simply because they were not fast enough.

The needless deaths of dogs will continue. As Premier Baird has stated, “Better regulation had been attempted, and failed, many times over”.


Special Commission of Inquiry Findings Seemingly Forgotten

A Special Commission of Inquiry into greyhound racing, whose findings Baird described as “damning”, concluded that the industry is incapable of reform and that the mass killing of healthy dogs is not something that can be successfully addressed.

In fact, it found that “such is the culture of the industry and some of its leaders that it is no longer, if it ever was, entitled to the trust of the community”.


Irresponsible Breeding Worsens Overpopulation Crisis

The government has failed to address the reality that perpetuating this industry means dogs will continue to be bred for racing in large numbers. We already euthanise more than 200,000 healthy dogs and cats annually in Australia because of a lack of good homes. It’s extremely irresponsible to breed more dogs in this current climate of animal overpopulation – condemning those already struggling to find homes to death.


Greyhound Trainer Who Protested the Ban Is Charged With Live-Baiting

On the eve of the government’s announcement, police charged Chad Achurch of Sydney with two counts each of torturing, beating, and causing the death of an animal; committing an act of aggravated cruelty against an animal; and using an animal for training greyhounds.

They also allegedly found video evidence showing the torture of rabbits.

There were “several images showing a dead rabbit, blood-stained with exposed broken bones”.

Achurch “has previously campaigned against Premier Mike Baird’s ban on greyhound racing, referring to himself as a ‘greyhound soldier’“.

On his Facebook page, Achurch posted pictures and videos of himself participating in a rally held earlier this year to protest the shutdown of the industry.


The End Is Inevitable

The news of this decision to reverse the ban was extremely disappointing and has left many reeling. But we will not stop working.

The New South Wales greyhound-racing industry may not have been shut down. But it will be.

From this moment on, everything that happens in the industry will be under intense scrutiny – and there will be more scandals, more evidence of cruelty, and more needless deaths.

We know that the only thing that will guarantee dogs and other animals are protected from cruelty is a ban. And we will keep pushing for an end to this industry on a national scale.

The end of greyhound racing has yet to arrive. But it is coming.

How You Can Help

Animals are not ours to use, abuse or kill for entertainment.

And other industries are watching. Not only will what happens now send a strong message to those who abuse dogs for profit, it will also affect horses used for racing, cattle and sheep on live-export ships, lions and monkeys in circuses, and calves tortured in rodeos.

We need to stand together and send a strong message that the Australian people will not tolerate any kind of animal abuse.

Here are some ways you can help today:

  • Call the New South Wales government on 02 8574 5000 and voice your outrage.
  • E-mail Mike Baird here.
  • Leave a message on one of his Facebook posts.
  • Sign our online alert to help stop a new greyhound-racing track from being built in South Australia.
  • Share our informative blog post with your family and friends, and encourage them to take action, too.