‘I got it wrong’: Baird gives greyhound industry ‘one last chance’

‘I got it wrong’: Premier Mike Baird with Deputy Premier Troy Grant on Tuesday. Photo: Nine NewsPremier backs down on greyhound racing banThe NSW greyhound industry will be given “one final chance” by the Baird government under a new regime being touted as “the strictest regulations that exist anywhere in the country”.
Nanjing Night Net

Premier Mike Baird declared “I got it wrong” while confirming he would back down on his original promise to close down the industry from July next year.

Instead, Mr Baird said the industry would need to sign up to mandatory life bans and increased jail terms for live baiting and registering greyhounds for their entire lives.

A new independent regulator will be headed by former Labor premierMorris Iemma. There will be more resources for enforcement and prosecution and animal welfare.

“I got it wrong, we got it wrong, the cabinet got it wrong and the government got it wrong,” Mr Baird said.

Premier Mike Baird announced a backdown over his greyhound racing ban on Tuesday. Photo: Christopher Pearce

Mr Baird said he knew a lot of people will be disappointed by the back down but said “we are listening”.

Cabinet revisited the decision to ban greyhound racing on Tuesday morning.

The move followed a sustained media and industry campaign since it was announced in July and amid expectations of a large swing against the government at the November 12 byelection in Orange.

The decision to ban the industry from July 1 next year followed the report of a special commission of inquiry headed by retired judge Michael McHugh.

It found up to 68,000 greyhounds had been euthanised in the past 12 years because they were too slow or unable to race.

The inquiry was prompted by revelations aired by the ABC’sFour Cornersprogram about live baiting in the greyhound industry.

The back-down comes despite Mr Baird having argued for months that closing the industry is “the right thing to do”.

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