The greyhound racing industry has hit back hard over claims that it's still a "cruel sport", in the wake of a racing death in Moree.
Geoff Rose - the Gunnedah-based NSW Greyhound Breeders, Owners and Trainers Association director for this region - said the Coalition for the Protection of Greyhounds was presenting an inaccurate view of the industry.
He said that since the three-month ban on the industry in NSW was lifted in a 2016 backflip by the Baird government, $30 million in taxpayers money had been spent on improving greyhound tracks in the state.
He referred to the CPG as an "animal libo" group. And he said that at regional NSW tracks staging non-TAB meetings, including Moree, Coonabarabran, Armidale and Tamworth, the injury rate had been "dramatically" reduced.
"And the reason it has been reduced dramatically is because the government has issued $30 million to Greyhound Racing NSW to reduce the injury rate," he said, adding: "You're never ever gonna eliminate injuries, the same as you can't eliminate injuries in football."
He continued: "I can't see why they're [the CPG] complaining."
But the CPG said people in regional towns needed to be aware that "carnage" was still occurring in the "taxpayer-funded industry".
But Rose - the president of the Gunnedah Greyhound Racing Club - said the industry was not taxpayer-funded. Aside from the $30 million to improve the tracks following the ban being lifted, the industry was funded by TAB dividends, he said.
"Look, I've seen no indication whatsoever that we're back to the standard where the industry got itself in[to] trouble," he said.
He added: "I believe the industry is on a forwards motion ... They're doing everything that was requested from the [Greyhound Welfare and Integrity] Commission, and I can't see any problem with what's happening whatsoever."
But the CPG said the industry continued to inflict death and suffering on thousands of dogs every year.
"As we've seen at Moree, deaths are inevitable in a cruel sport that treats dogs as commodities and pushes them beyond their physical limits," said Dennis Anderson, CPG national vice president.
The CPG is a national organisation who wants greyhound racing banned. Failing that, it wants to improve the welfare of greyhounds.
Anderson said it was incumbent on the CPG to "highlight to the public, to keep them informed, that deaths are continuing on the track all the time".
The group said there were 97 greyhound track deaths in NSW in the last financial year, and 635 euthanised greyhounds in NSW in 2018-19.
In race three at Moree on November 23, Mighty Fever fractured her scapula and was euthanised after crashing into the running rail.
This week, the Leader's sister paper, the Newcastle Herald, reported that a greyhound was euthanised after being injured in a race in Newcastle.
Kevin Anderson, the minister responsible for racing, said: "The Moree Greyhound Club have my full support. Welfare and integrity continue to be at the forefront of greyhound racing in NSW as we continue to invest in upgrading tracks and delivering a better racing environment for the greyhounds and participants."
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