About / History and Greyhound Reform
In February 2015, the media exposed serious animal welfare breaches and industry corruption in the NSW greyhound industry. The revelations surrounding the practice of live animals being used to train greyhounds shocked the general public. Five registered trainers were immediately stood down and the then board of the governing body, Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW), was disbanded.
The public outcry prompted the NSW Government to establish a Special Commission of Inquiry into the Greyhound Racing Industry in NSW, led by the Hon Michael McHugh AC QC. The Special Commission of Inquiry was tasked with investigating animal rights abuses in the greyhound industry and making recommendations on its findings to the NSW Government. The Commission of Inquiry’s report (the McHugh Report) raised serious concerns relating to the management and governance of the greyhound industry. The report recommended the government consider whether the industry had lost its social licence and should no longer be permitted to operate in NSW.
Greyhound industry ban and ban reversal
Following the release of the McHugh report in June 2016, the government announced a ban on the greyhound industry. It said the report proves the industry was no longer entitled to the trust of the community. In October 2016, the government announced a reversal of the ban and flagged that the industry would instead be governed by effective regulation.
The Greyhound Industry Reform Panel
When the government announced the reversal of the ban, it established the Greyhound Industry Reform Panel to provide recommendations on potential new animal welfare and governance arrangements to reform the industry. The reform panel made 122 recommendations to the government. A key recommendation was to separate the commercial and regulatory functions carried out by GRNSW. GRNSW would retain the commercial arm, while the Greyhound Welfare and Integrity Commission would administer welfare and regulatory functions.
Greyhound Racing Act 2017
Parts of the Greyhound Racing Act 2017 (GRA) commenced on 3 July 2017. These enabled the government to to establish the Commission and reconstitute GRNSW. The remaining provisions commenced on 1 July 2018. These allowed the welfare and regulatory functions to transition from GRNSW to the Commission. The GRA repealed the Greyhound Racing Prohibition Act 2016 and the Greyhound Racing Act 2009. The Greyhound Racing Regulation 2018 also commenced on 1 July 2018.