Greyhound Racing NSW ‘stamping out’ mistreatment of animals
IN RESPONSE to Sunday's rally against greyhound racing, a spokesperson for Greyhound Racing New South Wales (GRNSW) said the organisation had "implemented essential reforms over the past 11 months to ensure animal welfare and integrity is at the centre of everything the sport does now and into the future".
"We recognise the imperative for change and are confident greyhound racing will continue to make a strong social contribution to communities across NSW," the spokesperson said.
There were concerns among some at the rally about live baiting, an issue that was put in the spotlight following a Four Corners program last year when it was revealed that live baiting of greyhounds was still occurring.
The Greyhound Racing NSW spokesperson said measures were in place to stamp out the mistreatment of animals, which included live baiting.
"A dedicated Investigations and Intelligence Unit has been established to collect and analyse information and conduct intelligence-led investigations into suspected wrongdoing," they said.
"GRNSW has also established the Greyhound Welfare and Integrity Hotline to ensure allegations of wrongdoing are collected, assessed and acted on.
"The hotline can be contacted on 1800 680 174 or via www.greyhoundwelfare.com.au.
The GRNSW spokesperson recognised there was still a lot of work to do in the area of the overproduction and unnecessary euthanasia of greyhounds.
They said breeding numbers dropped by almost 50% year-on-year since breeding restrictions were introduced last July.
"GRNSW has also strengthened industry supervision by implementing mandatory licensing of all industry participants," the spokesperson said.
"This began with breeders last July and will be expanded to include licensing for rearers, educators and whelpers in 2016."
The spokesperson was confident in the success of Greyhounds As Pets, the greyhound re-homing program.
"A total of 274 greyhounds were re-homed under the program in 2015 which represents a 150% increase on the previous year," they said.
"We expect that number to increase by a further 60% in 2016.
Concerned community members are encouraged to visit www.embracingchange.com.au for more information on its reforms.