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Greens plan to ban greyhound racing

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The Greens have announced a plan to ban greyhound racing, horseracing, rodeos, petting zoos, and animal acts at circuses. 

In a bid to “rein in animal exploitation”, the proposal, more than five years in the making, includes the establishment of a transition program for industry workers and impacted communities. 

The plan hopes to reskill affected workers and support them to find new jobs. 

It includes resourcing impacted communities and repurposing racetracks for community benefit. 

The Greens add that most importantly, they plan to rehabilitate and re-home all affected animals.  

“Six years on from greyhound racing coming within a whisker of being shut down for extraordinary and well-documented animal abuses, this cruel gambling-fuelled industry is again breaking records, with injuries and deaths higher than ever,” says Greens MP and animal welfare spokesperson Abigail Boyd. 

“The industry was given its second chance and it has thoroughly failed to reform.  

“It’s time to shut down greyhound racing for good,” she said. 

The move would affect a number of Hunter Valley organisations, including Ladbrokes Gardens Greyhound Racing in Birmingham Gardens, Maitland Greyhounds and the recently-revamped Muswellbrook Greyhound Racing Club.

The Greens plan includes: 

  • Banning greyhound racing, with a one-year implementation period 
  • Establishing a transition program for industry workers and impacted communities. 
  • Banning horse racing, including both thoroughbred and harness racing, with a four-year implementation period. 
  • Implementing urgent welfare reforms while working towards greyhound and horse racing shutdown.
  • The shutdown of rodeos and rehoming of animals trapped in the industry. 

“Exploiting animals for entertainment and gambling profits is cruel and archaic, and we know that when animal entertainment industries are allowed to flourish, animal welfare never wins out,” the Greens website says. 

“Thanks to the hard work of animal welfare advocates and activists, ‘sports’ like greyhound racing, horse racing and rodeos are wracked with cruelty scandals.  

“From perverse performance motivators like electrocution or live baiting, to slaughter of injured and unwanted animals because it’s cheaper than rehabilitation and rehoming, these are industries that rely on cruelty to turn a profit — and it’s past time to shut them down.  

“Public sentiment is turning on this cruelty. More people than ever before oppose exploitation of animals for entertainment. As of 2021 no circuses in Australia continue to use wild exotic animals — but the cruelty continues for domesticated animals forced into the gruelling life of constant transportation and exhibition in circuses and petting zoos. The Greens will close down these travelling animal shows.” 

In the last parliament, the Greens say they can be credited for leading the way in overhauling the legislative framework of animal welfare in NSW.

During their tenure they introduced a Bill to require greyhounds to be tracked from birth to death, as well as interrogating the industry in the Parliamentary inquiry into the regulation of greyhound racing.

They have also introduced bills to protect koala areas, investigate battery cages for hens, the enforcement of animal cruelty laws, puppy farming and the use of animals in medical testing.

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