The board of Greyhound Racing NSW have been dumped by the New South Wales government and the CEO stood aside in the wake of the live baiting scandal.
With a state election just five weeks away, NSW racing minister Troy Grant ramped up the pressure on the industry yesterday, saying everyone had lost confidence in the sport after decades of allegations and rumours had failed to find any of the evidence revealed in Monday night’s Four Corners expose.
“It is clear self-regulation under the current structure and culture within greyhounds has failed,” he said.
Grant delivered an ultimatum for the board to go, saying “they have agreed with me that the community has lost confidence in the industry, and we now need to clear the air in order to reform and reshape the industry”.
The board will step down, while CEO Brent Hogan has stood aside pending the GRNSW-instigated investigation into live baiting headed by former High Court justice Michael McHugh.
Greyhound racing will continue, with the minister saying the $300 million industry and “a lot of innocent people would be hurt.”
The Board’s powers have been handed over to the head of the NSW Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing Paul Newson, as interim CEO.
The minister said anyone caught blooding their dogs will be banned from the sport for life.
The review by Justice McHugh will be expanded with RSPCA NSW CEO Steve Coleman, a NSW Police representative and Greyhound Racing Industry Consultation Group chair Ron Arnold joining the panel.
“The review will develop a new model of governance to ensure the integrity of the industry,” Grant said.
The live baiting scandal has seen the industry lose its biggest sponsor, South Australian company Macro Meats Gourmet Game, which produces kangaroo, wild rabbit and venison for human consumption.
The company’s support is believed to be worth more than $250,000 annually.
Macro meats managing director Ray Borda, a greyhound enthusiastic, told The Herald Sun that he was sickened by the Four Corners revelations.
“I base my business, my principles, on animal welfare – always have. I’ve been out there and engage with the RSPCA and everyone else and for this to come to light was a shock to me,” he said.
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