ORANGE resident and track manager at Bathurst Greyhound Racing Club Jason Lyne disputes key facts in the report NSW Premier Mike Baird used to institute a ban on greyhound racing.
Mr Baird announced the sport was to be banned in the state from July 1, 2017, claiming there was “widespread illegal and unconscionable activity” in the state’s greyhound racing industry.
He said the report showed there was a “widespread practice of live baiting” and there had been a “mass killing” of more than 48,000 greyhounds in the past 12 years.
My Lyne says the figures are questionable.
“No one knows where the data came from,” he said.
He said the industry has rallied, not just in the Central West, but across the state.
“It’s the first time ever people have put aside their differences and kept together,” Mr Lyne said.
The most obvious example of the new-found unity is a petition the Bathurst club has initiated for the Members of the Legislative Assembly of the NSW Parliament, which calls for a reversal of Mr Baird’s ban and the implementation of reforms recommended by Hon Michael McHugh and the Special Commission of Inquiry.
“There’s still fight left in us … we’re definitely not lying down, we’re fighting,” Mr Lyne said.
He said the greyhound industry have followed new rules and regulations that have been put in place since February last year after it was revealed on ABC’s Four Corners program that some people use live baiting when training greyhounds.
Sid Swain has been a greyhound trainer for more than half a century and in that time he has never seen a threat like he sees right now.
But, like My Lyne, Mr Swain said the premier’s report has got it wrong.
There’s still fight left in us … we’re definitely not lying down, we’re fighting.JASON LYNE
After 55 years in the industry, in Sydney and the Central West, Mr Swain admitted there were “a few bad eggs”.
He also admitted he thought greyhound racing would have been banned last year after the ABC’s Four Corners program revealed the live baiting practices of some trainers.
“It was good footage for Mr Baird,” Mr Swain said of the ABC’s report.
Even though some footage was filmed in Queensland, Mr Swain said no inquiry was conducted there.
“Why did they do an inquiry in NSW, why was it only a state issue?” he asked.