Adam Hourigan

Dishlicker D-day as racing ban goes to parliament

GREYHOUND trainers from across New South Wales will hold an eleventh-hour march in Sydney in an effort to get he industry's statewide ban overturned.

The NSW Government will introduce legislation to prohibit the sport when parliament resumes on Tuesday, AUGUST 2 coinciding with a "fair go" rally at Hyde Park.

An Australian Racing Greyhound petition with more than 12,000 signatures calling for the ban to be lifted will be presented to parliament.

"We are the first people to acknowledge there have been some horrible wrongs, including live baiting and cases of animal cruelty, but to shut down the entire industry, to the detriment of thousands is ridiculous," the petition states.

Labor Leader Luke Foley says Labor will vote against the ban and released a reform plan that would apply mandatory life bans or even prison terms to owners and trainers engaging in live baiting.

"Let's regulate it to the highest standards of animal welfare ... throw the book at those who do the wrong thing, but look after the thousands of good men and women in it," he told a media conference on Sunday.

"Good people in any walk of life should not be punished for the sins of the few."

Mr Foley's reforms would also separate the industry's commercial and regulatory arms and ban the sale of any public land already being used for greyhound racing.

Several Nationals MPs have suggested they would cross the floor against their party's official position and oppose the ban in parliament.

Unless they do so, Labor will lack the numbers to block it.

Racing to a Respected Future, a coalition of greyhound racing bodies formed to fight the ban, has released a report saying the number of greyhounds born in the 12 months to July had fallen 46%.

It added only two people had been jailed in NSW for live baiting, although one more was awaiting trial, two trainers were being actively investigated and eight other cases could not proceed because of illegally obtained footage. -ARM NEWSDESK

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