Will you sign our open letter to the Labor leader, urging him to reverse his position on the ban and save thousands of greyhounds from death?
Dear Mr Foley,
I call on you to change your stance on greyhound racing ahead of the vote in the lower house.
Rather than being a way of life for rural and regional communities, the sport of greyhound racing has been in decline for years, in terms of both participants and popularity. It’s now clear that it has lost its social license – the set of conditions that society places on a company or industry to exist and grow.
The industry's ability to acknowledge its problems, to be transparent about the problems and to manage its own reform process has been so so poor, the public has lost any faith in it being able to reform.
In 2011-12 there were 4,841 registered industry participants in NSW, down from 5,959 in 2008/09. In 2015, this had fallen to 4,414. From 2008 to 2015, the industry experienced a 22% decline in the number of licensed participants.
Public attendance at greyhound race meetings has also experienced a significant decline. From 2010 to 2015, attendance at TAB tracks had seen a fall of 27.5% while non-TAB tracks, had experienced a decline in attendees of 22.7%.
Prior to the announcement by the Baird government, the industry regulator Greyhound Racing NSW was already planning to close up to 24 tracks, including 19 non-TAB tracks.
It is clear that meaningful community engagement in greyhound racing was already in steep decline prior to the announcement of a ban, with no evidence of this trend being reversed. Under these circumstances, rural and regional communities already faced the reality that greyhound racing was on its last legs.
Rural and regional communities deserve better forms of community engagement and opportunities to socialise than an industry already in decline and riddled with intractable animal welfare issues.
A huge 85% of NSW voters support the greyhound racing ban because of their concerns for the thousands of animals mistreated by the industry. As one of these voters, I urge you to support the vast majority of people in this State and cease your opposition to the ban.
Instead, I call on you to support the communities affected by the ban by assisting in the creation of a fair and equitable transition package for those people employed by the industry, enabling them to find alternative employment.
Jamie Parker, Member for Balmain
Jenny Leong, Member for Newtown
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