New integrity body set to oversee NSW greyhound racing

Greyhound racing in NSW is set to be overseen by a new integrity body.A powerful new integrity body is set to be created to oversee greyhound racing in NSW following the recommendation of a panel established to advise the government on how to reform the industry.

The panel was announced last year by then premier Mike Baird as part of his sensational backdown on a push to ban greyhound racing in NSW.

The report of the panel, chaired by former premier Morris Iemma, is due to be released on Thursday.

Creation of a new Greyhound Welfare and Integrity Commission that separates the sport’s regulatory and commercial arms is understood to be one of its key recommendations.

At present, Greyhound Racing NSW undertakes the sport’s commercial and regulatory functions.

The panel was required to develop a new regime for the sport including “an independent regulator with strong new powers to ensure transparency and accountability”.

The government said the regime should also include mandatory life bans as well as increased jail terms for live baiting, registration of greyhounds for their entire lives, and more resources for enforcement, prosecution and animal welfare.

Fairfax Media revealed just days after Mr Baird’s announcement that a dispute had erupted over the reform plan in relation to an industry offer to cap breeding of greyhounds for racing at 2000 a year.

The chief executive of the NSW Greyhound Industry Racing Alliance, Brenton Scott, told the panel at its first meeting that he had reached agreement with the government that the 2000 figure be scrapped.

However, the government insisted there was no agreement reached and that the cap would remain in place under any reform plan.

Mr Baird announced the plan to close the greyhound racing industry after a special commission of inquiry report found 68,000 greyhounds had been euthanised in the past 12 years because they could not race, or were too slow.

He backed down in the face of immense pressure from the opposition, media outlets and the industry.