Parliament Gippsland South The Nationals Racing

Improved standards in greyhound racing industry

The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Danny O’Brien has spoken in Parliament on his support for greyhound racing and new laws that will ensure improved welfare for greyhounds and clamp down harder on the cruel practice of ‘blooding’ dogs with live animals such as possums, rabbits and piglets as lures.

Mr O’Brien, speaking on the Racing and Other Acts Amendment (Greyhound Racing and Welfare Reform) Bill 2015, said the use of live animals as lures was appalling.

“Following an investigation by Four Corners last year that highlighted this cruel method, I received emails and letters from a number of constituents expressing their outrage.  While these practices were already illegal, this Bill will provide strict new powers that will clean up the industry,” Mr O’Brien said.

“That said, this is an industry where the vast majority of trainers do care greatly about animal welfare in a sector that contributes an enormous amount to our state economy. Those people who do the right thing in this industry should not be tarnished.

“The Sale Greyhound Club is a major part of our local community. It’s a fantastic club and organisation and contributes greatly to the local economy and charities within the Gippsland region.”

Mr O’Brien said the Bill would enable inspectors to visit properties an hour before sunrise and an hour after sunset, which opened up a new scope to ensure illegal activities and practices were not taking place.

Mr O’Brien said in addition to the proposed amendments around ‘blooding’, the bill also extends the time frame for bringing forward a prosecution from 12 months to 3 years.

“This will allow a greater length of time for investigations into suspicious activities and will allow for the investigations to be much more thorough,” Mr O’Brien said.

“I think the industry has had a wake-up call, as many animal industries have over the last couple of years, that the community demands stronger welfare measures. Some have called for the industry to be shut down but that is not something I would ever support.  We don’t ban cars because a few idiots drink-drive and neither should we punish an entire industry for the actions of a few.”

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