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the NSW government announced that in the wake of charges of animal cruelty greyhound racing would be banned. However, a few months later the Premier announced a reversal of that decision. Why was there such a dramatic change of policy on the part of the government? Was it justified? Explain your reasoning.

Reasons for Banning of Greyhound Racing

On July 2016, the NSW Government made the decision of shutting down the Greyhound Racing Industry, made preparation of legislation, and did the introduction to the Parliament regarding its ban in NSW. In response to the airing of a Four Corners program on ABC TV in 2015, the NSW Government did the setting up of a special commission of inquiry within the NSW greyhound racing industry. The program showcased the fact that the racing greyhounds were instigated in chasing, mauling as well as killing live animals like rabbits, for turning the greyhounds into more fervent racers. However, in NSW this practice is considered a criminal wrongdoing. As per the notorious practice of live baiting, an industry report revealed that at least 50% of dogs bred were killed in a deliberate manner since they were not competitive racing greyhounds. In the context of banning greyhound racing, NSW Premier Mike Baird had stated that the closing down of the industry was considered being a challenging but essential decision (Wainwright 2016). The evidence received by the commission regarding animal cruelty was considered being chilling as well as dreadful. Huge numbers of healthy dogs was being culled within the greyhound racing industry simply because they were not quick enough. Mr. Baird also showcased that fact that the greyhound racing industry is not feeling any remorse regarding the cruel and inhuman practice regarding live baiting (Markwell 2016).

However, a few months later the reversal regarding the banning decision occurred. New South Wales Premier Mike Baird stated that he lifted the ban on greyhounds as he was mistaken and felt that the majority of the community wants the greyhound racing industry in having another opportunity. Moreover, he denied the allegations that the polls were showing that most of the individuals in New South Wales were supporting the ban and in reality he was agreeing to the views of a vocal minority (Bricknell 2015). In this context, a dog trainer based in Sydney stated that the proposal regarding the ban had turned the life of everyone into confusion. Mr. Baird stated that there will be the placing of certain reforms that will be tightening the welfare standards, which included the reduction in the number of tracks as well as breeding of dogs regarding racing as well as stringent penalties regarding cruelty to animals (Eliis 2016). On the other hand, The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Australia did the release of a statement that described the decision of lifting the ban to be a disappointing as well as sad event.

Reversal of Greyhound Racing Ban

Considering this overall hullabaloo regarding the banning and then lifting of the ban on the greyhound racing industry, it is quite evident that the dramatic change of policy on the part of the government was not at all justified. The U-turn of the New South Wales government on the banning of the greyhound industry reveals the weak competence of certain political leaders that holds eminent positions as well as their suppression by the media. The argument regarding the latter aspect can be stated by the fact that the media did relentless denouncing of Premier Mike Baird regarding the ban from the time it’s announcement occurred for the first time (Darnell 2016). Being faced with a decline in popularity, Baird did the capitulation to the media for trying to gain support from the public as well as avoiding disgruntlement amongst the Nationals party in New South Wales.

Now the most intriguing question that needs to be asked here is what will the lifting of the ban mean in respect of the greyhounds and moreover, what will now be happening to the greyhound racing industry. In a statement to the media, Baird as well as deputy premier Troy Grant made the announcement relating to a range of changes that will be allowing the industry to keep functioning. This includes the life bans as well as increased jail terms in respect of live baiting (Hoye 2015). Also, a new administration for registering greyhounds in respect of their entire lives, a new independent regulator having effective new powers for ensuring transparent as well as accountable aspects and lastly, fresh resources in respect of enforcing as well as prosecuting offenders as well as new resources in respect of welfare for animals (Masterman 2014).

In this regard, earlier NSW Premier Morris Iemma will be chairing a Greyhound Industry Reform Panel, which will be determining the new rules, as well as will be having the involvement of the RSPCA, the greyhound industry as well as representatives of the government. The industry for greyhounds reportedly did the proposing of various changing aspects for overturning the ban that included a cap on breeding as well as reduction in the quantity of tracks as well as races (Coakley 2014). To limit the number of bitches that breed in NSW will do nothing for reducing the extent of the industry. Dogs might be brought in from interstate and there will occur difficulty in policing this movement. The concessions regarding the animal advocacy bodies are that they will be receiving additional money for dealing with cruelty regarding animals and there will be growing assistance to rehome greyhounds in NSW (Veal 2014). However, a current report stated that greyhounds are having major problems relating to behavioural aspects within the homes. Since, the greyhound racing industry is already on the decline, these steps will have a mere reflection regarding the requirement for curtailing its scale in the event of dwindling attendance as well as interest. For instance, there has occurred the banning of greyhound racing in forty states in the US. Only nineteen tracks are remaining in 6 states. Throughout the world, the greyhound racing industry is having its presence in a very few number of countries (Giulianotti 2015).

Grey Hound Industry Reaction

In addition, the reaction of the public regarding the aspect of greyhound racing is changing in a remarkable manner. There are various reasons for the public to turn away from the racing of greyhounds. Similar to other competitions regarding animals as well as humans, these games have been spoiled through the use of drugs as well as other practices that are considered being uncompetitive like live baiting in the racing of greyhounds. Moreover, top trainers of greyhounds are earning up to A$ 5 million every year and in this respect, there is reducing public interest regarding an industry that is generating immense profits in respect of a chosen few. Along with that there exists the consideration relating to the ethical aspects (Houlihan 2015). Around fifty percent of the dogs are killed for being too slow. It is quite evident that the greyhound racing industry is destroying itself slowly but surely concerning it’s the appeal from the public. Another interesting fact that needs to be revealed is that the greyhounds are having abnormally large hearts, high blood pressure as well as a tendency regarding gastric torsion as well as bloating. In this regard, the public does not gain any satisfaction to see animals win races when it is a known fact that the dogs are having physiological abnormalities that are helping them to win the races (Pedersen 2014). Therefore, the interest of the public to these sports are changing from “who is the fastest” to the scope of offering a fair opportunity as well as enjoyment of everyone in being part of the competition. Most of the public are interested in seeing the welfare of the animals, receiving a better management at the government level.

Conclusion 

To conclude the report, it can be stated that there were various strong reasons for lifting the ban. One of them were of course the number of jobs that the industry was providing. From a NSW Government-commissioned report, it was found out that industry for greyhound racing did the contribution of more than 2,700 full-time jobs regarding the economy of NSW. Also, a current report stated that greyhounds are having major problems relating to behavioural aspects within the homes. Since, the greyhound racing industry is already on the decline, these steps will have a mere reflection regarding the requirement for curtailing its scale in the event of dwindling attendance as well as interest. In addition, a new administration is being registered for the greyhounds in respect of their entire lives as well as a new independent regulator having effective new powers for ensuring transparent as well as accountable aspects. It is quite evident that the greyhound racing industry is destroying itself slowly but surely concerning it’s the appeal from the public. Another interesting fact that needs to be revealed is that the greyhounds are having abnormally large hearts, high blood pressure as well as a tendency regarding gastric torsion as well as bloating. In this regard, the public does not gain any satisfaction to see animals win races when it is a known fact that the dogs are having physiological abnormalities that are helping them to win the races. The evidence received by the commission regarding animal cruelty was considered being chilling as well as dreadful.

Reference

Bricknell, S., 2015. Corruption in Australian sport. Trends and Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice, (490), p.1.

Coakley, J.J. and Pike, E., 2014. Sports in society: Issues and controversies.

Darnell, S.C., Whitley, M.A. and Massey, W.V., 2016. Changing methods and methods of change: reflections on qualitative research in Sport for Development and Peace. Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health, 8(5), pp.571-577.

Ellis, E., 2016. Greyhound ban shows need for reform across all animal industries. Green Left Weekly, (1102), p.10.

Giulianotti, R., 2015. Sport: A critical sociology. John Wiley & Sons.

Houlihan, B. and Malcolm, D. eds., 2015. Sport and society: a student introduction. Sage.

Hoye, R., Smith, A.C., Nicholson, M. and Stewart, B., 2015. Sport management: principles and applications. Routledge.

Markwell, K., Firth, T. and Hing, N., 2016. Blood on the race track: an analysis of ethical concerns regarding animal-based gambling. Annals of Leisure Research, pp.1-16.

Masterman, G., 2014. Strategic sports event management. Routledge.

Pedersen, P.M. and Thibault, L. eds., 2014. Contemporary sport management, 5E. Human Kinetics.

Veal, A.J. and Darcy, S., 2014. Research methods in sport studies and sport management: A practical guide. Routledge.

Wainwright, S., 2016. Build the alternative, build it now. Green Left Weekly, (1101), p.5.

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