4. Government inquiries launched
The industry is under unprecedented scrutiny at a government level with inquiries launched in Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and Tasmania. In Queensland, a police taskforce uncovered further damning evidence of cruelty, with the government inquiry leading to the sacking of all racing administrators. The state government also halted construction of a proposed new greyhound racing track in Logan, following the 4 Corners expose. Victoria is establishing an independent integrity body for all racing codes and abolishing breeding incentive schemes.
In NSW, a special commission inquiry was launched with powers similar to a royal commission — meaning witnesses could be compelled to give testimony, search warrants could be executed and the darkest corners of the industry could be scrutinised. It heard damning industry admissions of widespread cruelty that ultimately helped see NSW and the ACT commit to banning greyhound racing. Sadly, immense political pressure and a relentless media campaign successfuly resulted in the historic greyhound racing ban in NSW being overturned. In 2017, however, the ACT Attorney General Gordon Ramsay confirmed that greyhound racing will be outlawed in the Territory in 2018, stating “We cannot turn a blind eye to the sort of behaviour and animal cruelty uncovered in New South Wales … the prospect of those behaviours coming into the ACT, and the risk of regulatory failure in New South Wales, presents an unacceptable risk.”
The WA and SA governments have both increased their maximum penalties and jail time for live baiting offences, with Greyhound Racing SA also announcing random inspections and aerial drone surveillance of training premises.