Baird to backflip on greyhound ban

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NSW Premier Mike Baird is reportedly ‘seriously considering’ reversing a controversial greyhound racing ban.

Greyhounds may continue to race in NSW. Picture: Stephen Laffer

NSW Premier Mike Baird is expected to backflip on his controversial ban on greyhound racing in favour of increasing penalties for wrongdoers in the industry.

Despite the internal lobbying and a fall in popularity, Mr Baird has stood firm until now on the issue saying the industry’s shutdown date of July 2017 is locked in.

The Daily Telegraph says Mr Baird will make the announcement as early as Tuesday to bring in legislation to overturn the Greyhound Racing Prohibition Act, while increasing penalties for animal cruelty.

The greyhound industry will be expected to guarantee:

A total life cycle management for all dogs born into the industry, whether they can race or not

A controlled breeding program

Zero tolerance to animal cruelty, including live baiting

Strict standards on racing to prevent injury to dogs.

The Telegraph says the compromise is based on a plan of action devised by the Greyhound Alliance.

A report by Greyhounds Transition Taskforce head John Keniry was expected to be handed to the government on Monday and presented to a cabinet meeting. But it’s now expected Cabinet will tick off the new plan.

Tensions have been rising in the state Coalition’s ranks since the ban was legislated, with more MPs declaring their opposition to the ban, which had been prompted by the revelation of widespread cruelty within the greyhound racing industry.

The ban has been attributed as the reason behind a massive drop in the Premier’s popularity, with a recent Newspoll showing Baird’s approval rate had crashed from 61 to 39 per cent since December.