ON COURSE: BGRC president Stephen Bland says the industry has been cleaned up in Queensland.
ON COURSE: BGRC president Stephen Bland says the industry has been cleaned up in Queensland. Mike Knott BUN130216GREYHOUNDS4

NSW premier a fool, says Bundy greyhound club president

“THE man’s a fool quite honestly. I think he is committing political suicide.”

Stephen Bland did not hold back in his assessment of New South Wales Premier Mike Baird’s decision last week to ban greyhound racing in that state from July next year.

The greyhound trainer and Bundaberg Greyhound Racing Club president was at the races on Saturday and said the Bundaberg greyhound community was united and resilient despite the furore surrounding the industry.

“I think he’s (Mr Baird) pandering to the animal welfare people and the greenies,” Mr Bland said.

In February 2015 ABC’s Four Corners shocked Australia, when it exposed sickening cases of animal cruelty and the use of live baiting to train greyhounds for racing.

Mr Baird then established a Special Commission of Inquiry into the greyhound industry.

Mr Bland believes the NSW premier has overreacted to the 800-page report and ignored other options available to him.

“They have taken the first recommendation, which was close the industry down. They haven’t bothered looking at the other 79 proposals,” Mr Bland said.

Since the announcement there have been some calls for a national ban.

“It’s a billion-dollar industry in Queensland and impacts a lot of people,” Mr Bland said.

“It’s not only the racing community, it’s the butchers, vets and all the other people that make a living off it.”

Mr Bland said the NSW Government only had to look north of its border to see a responsible and fair reaction to the greyhound situation.

“Queensland has gone the other way and worked with the industry and cleaned up the industry,” he said.

“They have tightened the regulations up.”

On Saturday night, Mr Baird responded on Facebook to criticism of his plan to ban greyhound racing rebutting the top 10 complaints made.

He outlined the decision was not punishing the many for the actions of the few saying the report was conclusive that these practices were systemic.

On Monday, Queensland Racing Minister Grace Grace met with greyhound representatives to reassure them that Queensland would not be banning greyhound racing.



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