Animal Welfare League Queensland (AWLQ) has condemned the New South Wales’ Government decision to reverse the greyhound racing ban saying it is an opportunity lost.

“It’s devastating news and a retrograde step for the future of greyhounds,” AWLQ CEO Denise Bradley said.

“At a time when the rest of the world is looking to end the cruel practice, elected representatives are still encouraging it.

“We are one of only eight countries in the world where greyhounds still race, and die in large numbers and under unacceptable conditions.”

AWLQ commended NSW Premier Mike Baird for his decision to ban the industry back in July after the damning 800 page report from the Special Commission, overseen by High Court Judge Michael McHugh.

It included the mass killing of anywhere up to 68,448 greyhounds in the last 12 years, the widespread practice of live baiting, the ‘systemic deception’ of the public concerning the numbers of deaths and injuries of dogs and the inability of the industry to reform.

But political pressure in electorates supporting the industry, and an upcoming by-election in the seat of Orange, have seen the reversal.

“Local politicians have considered their own seats instead of the greater good of the community, and that is a terrible shame,” Ms Bradley said.

AWLQ says any tougher penalties imposed, and a greater emphasis on animal welfare and catching the perpetrators of cruelty, are band aid solutions.

“Resources are already stretched policing animal cruelty in general,” Ms Bradley said.

“The very culture of greyhound racing makes it incredibly difficult to find those responsible for cruelty and to have the courts adequately persecute them.

“Only a blanket ban will ensure the future of thousands of greyhounds.”

AWLQ launched its own program ‘Going Grey – AWLQ’ in August to help rehome greyhounds, particularly racing dogs, who have to learn about life in a home.

“Many of them have never negotiated steps, have no understanding of glass doors and are reluctant to come into the home,” Ms Bradley said.

“It says a lot about how these dogs were brought up and kept.

“We are urging the New South Wales Government to reconsider this ban, for the good of more than just a few electorates.”