NSW Natural Resources Commissioner, Dr John Keniry AM, has been appointed Coordinator General of the Greyhounds Transition Taskforce that will guide the industry to a humane and orderly closure.
Premier Mike Baird and Deputy Premier Troy Grant also announced that every cent the NSW Government receives from greyhound wagering tax between now and 1 July 2017 will be committed to fund the industry’s transition.
After 1 July 2017 the proceeds from betting through the NSW TAB on interstate greyhound races will continue to contribute to feeding and caring for ex-racing dogs.
“Dr Keniry will head a taskforce to work with the greyhound racing industry to develop a humane and orderly transition to closure over the next 12 months,” Mr Baird said.
“We’re absolutely committed to shutting the industry down in an orderly and humane way, to protect animal welfare, and providing support for all greyhound owners who have done the right thing.
“The Special Commission of Inquiry’s report revealed such dire animal cruelty that we had no other option but to take this drastic course of action.”
Mr Grant added, “The Premier and I met with industry representatives today to discuss the first steps towards the industry shutdown over the next 12 months.
“Racing will continue until 1 July next year as the industry is closed down. In the meantime, we will consult with industry to ensure we put our resources into measures that achieve the best outcomes possible for greyhounds and for those affected in the industry.
“We absolutely encourage owners, breeders and trainers to keep their dogs and assistance will be provided for them to do that, but as an alternative we will be maximizing opportunities to rehome these fantastic animals.’’
Mr Baird and Mr Grant were joined by RSPCA NSW CEO Steve Coleman, who is working closely with the Government as it works to ensure humane closure of the industry.
Mr Coleman said, "RSPCA NSW reiterates the view that greyhound racing has no place in NSW and that it strongly supports the Government's decision. Having carefully reviewed the findings of the Special Commission, RSPCA NSW believes this is the best way forward. The regulatory burden that would result from implementing recommendations 2 to 80 would be unworkable.”