Baird stays tough on greyhound ban
NEW South Wales Premier Mike Baird has rejected the greyhound industry's offer to clean up the sport, claiming a joint party room meeting has confirmed the Coalition's support for a statewide ban.
The announcement followed the industry's likely first of many court appearances arguing the ban was based on a flawed report into the animal cruelty within the sport.
Lawyers for the NSW Greyhound Breeders, Owners and Trainers Association and the NSW Attorney-General appeared before the NSW Supreme Court on Tuesday for a directions hearing.
Industry leaders also met with Mr Baird and Deputy Premier Troy Grant to make four "absolute guarantees of action" to clean up the troubled sport.
"We are committed to a plan that will ensure we meet the expectations of the community and can still operate a viable and sustainable industry," GBOTA chief executive Brenton Scott said.
"We appreciate the premier listening to our plan for the future this morning."
It appears that plan fell on deaf ears, with Mr Baird announcing just hours later the government was going ahead with the ban.
The guarantees included ensuring all greyhounds would be allowed to live full lives, even those retired or deemed too slow to race, and restricting breeding to 2000 racing dogs annually across the state.
Mr Scott said there would be zero tolerance for animal cruelty, including live baiting, punishable by a lifetime ban, and race tracks would be maintained to the safest standards to eliminate avoidable injuries.
"We are confident that we can meet these guarantees. We have thoroughly researched the issues," he said.
"The modelling that we have done, plus case studies from other states and overseas, demonstrates that this is all viable and achievable."
Mr Grant said the meeting was "a tough one" but it had failed to sway his resolve to shut the industry down.
He said the industry's claim it could limit breeding quotas to 2000 pups a year was absurd, considering it had rejected an opportunity to establish quotas last year.
"They're not logical, they don't stack up," he said of the guarantees.
"And unfortunately they go to the very heart that the industry isn't viable and therefore, that's why they can't be accepted."
Mr Scott said the industry was open to further tests to verify the sport's capacity to continue free of animal cruelty.
"We are just asking for a fair go and a chance to demonstrate that we can change," he said.
The matter is due to come before the NSW Supreme Court for further directions on September 29. -ARM NEWSDESK