By Daniel Hughes
Earlier this month on the 7th of July, New South Wales Premier Mike Baird announced that after a special commission of inquiry, greyhound racing is being banned from NSW tracks.
After an 800-page report by a Special Commission overseen by Former High Court judge Michael McHugh, it was revealed that there had been “widespread cruelty” in the industry.
Although it was an extensive report, it’s believed by local Bathurst business owner and greyhound vet Claire Harrison, that the special commission must have overlooked the Central West considering she believes that it is only a small minority who have done the wrong thing.
“Obviously there has been a small minority of people who have done the wrong thing and did unfortunately live bait, but it is very rare and it is no reason to punish the broad population of greyhound trainers and owners because they haven’t done anything wrong,” she told 2MCExtra.
“In the past eight years since I became exclusively a greyhound vet I have had over 300 clients and I have never seen an incident where the dogs have been mistreated or trained with live baiting.”
According to Mr Baird who announced on his Facebook page, “In response to widespread illegal and unconscionable activity, including the slaughtering of tens of thousands of dogs, I can today announce that NSW is putting an end to greyhound racing.”
But at what cost?
Dr Harrison has already began to feel the effects of the ban, explaining to 2MCExtra that she has already had a drop off of clients in her business because they “simply can’t afford to have their greyhound checked up on as regularly from the absence of prize money.”
Unfortunately for Dr Harrison, greyhound racing has become extinct almost overnight and this means coming to grip with the harsh reality that her business may not be running for much longer.
“I’ve built my business from scratch and 97% of patients that I treat are greyhounds so basically I go from an income that was quite good, to an income that was nearly zero because of this ban.”
Not only is the ban affecting local business owners but also greyhound fanatics are unhappy with the ban.
“I’ve been to the Bathurst greyhound races for the past 12 years, I love it, I enjoy it, I bring my family, I bring the kids here, it’s part of my life,” Louie Liu told 2MCExtra.
“Now that they’re shut, when you come to Bathurst, there’s not much to look forward to.”