Hervey Bay Independent : 21st July 2016
Thursday, July 21, 2016 YOUR COMMUNITY 7 Two-year-old racing greyhound Korong with Gin Gin trainerMichael James. PHOTO: LAURENSMIT Trainer speaks out on NSW ban Queensland racing industry here to stay Lauren Smit GIN GIN greyhound racer and trainer, Michael James, has condemned New South Wales Premier Mike Baird’s decision to shut down the state’s greyhound racing industry within 12 months, saying the move could result in hundreds, if not thousands, of unnecessary animal deaths and the loss of income for all those involved in the sport. Mr James, who also rescues and rehomes former racing animals, told the Indy the 12-month deadline was unrealistic and would leave greyhound rescue groups scrambling to find homes for unwanted animals. “It takes time to shut an industry down, you need to stop the breeding cycle first... even after 12 months, there’s still going to be 5000 greyhounds around,” he said. Premier Mike Baird and Deputy Premier and Minister for Racing, Troy Grant, made the announcement on July 7 following a Special Commission of Inquiry which found overwhelming evidence of systemic animal cruelty, including mass greyhound killings and live baiting, within the New SouthWales greyhound racing industry. The Special Commission of Inquiry into the Greyhound Racing Industry in NSWfound that between 48,000 and 68,000 greyhounds – or at least half of all greyhounds bred to race – were killed in the past 12 years because they were deemed uncompetitive. The report states up to shut an industry down... 20% of trainers engage in live baiting and 180 greyhounds a year sustain “catastrophic injuries” during races, such as skull fractures and broken backs that result in their immediate deaths. Although the Queensland racing industry has been plagued by several high profile incidents of late, including some 55 greyhounds which were found in a mass grave in Bundaberg, the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission (QRIC) has been established to oversee It takes time to animal welfare. The QRIC is implementing amonitoring program to ensure that all dogs are tracked from birth to maturity, meaning that, in the words of Queensland Racing Minister Grace Grace, “no animal will be able to disappear off the map”. In an interview with the Indy, Mr James expressed his support for the QRIC and it’s stronger animal welfare policies. Mr James personally sees to the rehoming of all his former racing dogs, and works closely with rescue groups like Hervey Bay’s Wide Bay Animal Rescue and Bundaberg’s Greyhound Adoption Program (GAP) to ensure that each and every greyhound finds its forever home. It’s impossible to deny the genuine love he has for all of his animals, and the love they have for him in return. “My dogs are literally ready for homes when (Wide Bay Animal Rescue) gets them,” he said. “They’re as well looked after as any domestic dog, if not better. “They enjoy racing, that’s what they’re on this earth for... whether it’s on a race track, or in a paddock.” Community champion Doc Dooley COUNCIL has recognised the massive contribution to disaster management in Maryboroughmade by the owner of the Mary River Slipway, Doc Dooley. Doc was presented with a Community Champion Award on July 7. "Doc has been instrumental in organising Lower Kent Street businesses to better prepare for floods. He is now working with Upper Kent Street businesses to help them set up a similar group," Fraser Coast Mayor Chris Loft said. In 2011when he started there were five businesses involved. Now 36 businesses are pulling together. At the same time he has helped guide the Granville and Pocket community committees. As part of his efforts Doc donated six mobile phones - three mobile phones to the Pocket Community Co-ordination Committee and three also to the Granville Community Coordination Committee to help co-ordinate their efforts during a flood. "It’s not a big cost, but more importantly it shows that we care and are prepared," he said.
14th July 2016
28 July 2016