Greyhound racing public hearing begins in NSW

THOSE attending the first day of public hearings of the NSW greyhound racing inquiry were warned most of the evidence to be heard would be very negative.

Counsel-assisting the inquiry Stephen Rushton spoke of an industry in crisis and a controlling body that failed the wider community, greyhounds and the industry.

The special commission of inquiry will identify issues concerning the governance, integrity and animal welfare standards of the greyhound racing industry.

It will also consider whether any issues can be appropriately addressed so the industry can continue and evaluate overbreeding and destruction of young healthy greyhounds.

ABC's Four Corners' February report into the live baiting of greyhounds with small animals, such as possums, piglets and rabbits in several states prompted the inquiry.

The inquiry has already received about 80,000 pages of documents and conducted private hearings.

"The commission has received many submissions and documents which go to the question of animal welfare in the greyhound racing industry," Mr Rushton said.

"It has also heard evidence in private hearings - some of which will become public this week.

"Not much of that material is positive. Much of it is very negative."

He said the industry's controlling body, Greyhound Racing NSW, had never come close to discharging its regulatory functions.

Commissioner Michael McHugh is required to report to the Governor on the inquiry before March 31, 2016.


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