The Northern Star has today, Monday, January 21, published an article regarding the suspension of racing at Lismore Greyhound Track.

NSW GBOTA Business Operations Manager, Mrs Ellen Harris, said that there were a range of statements within the article which were not reflective of the facts.

These included that racing had been suspend rather than reported as a track closure. The NSW GBOTA believes that racing could resume as early as next week, and while the Association saw the relevance of a review including the provision of the safest racing possible racing, it does not believe that current track management practices were contributing to the injury outcomes.

Mrs Harris said an immediate amendment had been requested to quotes attributed to herself, noting track design as the issue. The NSW GBOTA has been open in the assessment of any factor which has led to injuries. This includes working towards optimum track design approach across all venues. The Association however refutes strongly that the track preparation or design is solely responsible for an injury.

The article also attributed comments to Mrs Pollard, from the Animal Justice Party. “The track has a difficult camber and it’s circular, and those are two great risk factors for greyhounds.”

In response to these comments, the NSW GBOTA believes that the general statements have no scientific support, given many canine breeds run in circular motions across a variety of terrain. In addition, references to over breeding were again not accurate, with a sharp decline in breeding reported by controlling authorities and publically available.

The Northern Star finally quoted Senator Faruqi, who referenced that the industry was both reliant on taxpayers funds and an RSCPA study which cited two in every three people wanted greyhound racing banned.

In response, the NSW GBOTA advises that the RSPCA study from 2016, surveyed just 836 people and found that a higher response rate to the survey question existed in the metropolitan area than regional areas such as Lismore. In addition, the poll was done after significant advertising against the industry.

Funding for the NSW greyhound industry currently flows from a range of revenue streams, primarily connected to wagering on the racing industry. The development of taxes, such as Point of Consumption Tax, implemented this year, have in fact raised additional revenue for NSW residents.

In addition to those economic contributions, the Lismore track has been responsible for hundreds of thousands of dollars being raised over the years for local community groups. The venue remains strongly connected to the Lismore community and will be driven in continuing those relationships for the betterment of the region. 

The Lismore track looks forward to finalising the report with Greyhound Racing NSW and resuming racing as quickly as possible.