New South Wales reverses course on greyhound racing ban

The Australian state of New South Wales has decided it won’t ban greyhound racing after all, a decision that has industry stakeholders cheering and animal rights advocates fuming.

In July, NSW premier Mike Baird (pictured) announced that greyhound racing would be banned in the state as of July 1, 2017. Baird based his decision on the findings of a Special Commission of Inquiry that was formed after investigative TV program Four Corners aired graphic evidence of animal cruelty at dog tracks.

But on Tuesday, Baird undid his shutdown order, telling reporters that hindsight had convinced him that “I got it wrong. Cabinet got it wrong. The government got it wrong.” Baird said his original order had been based on “a course that we believed was right” but a furious lobbying campaign by racing stakeholders had now convinced him otherwise.

Baird apologized to stakeholders for the fact that his administration “did not give the good people in the industry a chance to respond, a chance to reform.” Baird said it was only fair that racing “be given that one last chance” to prove it could operate without the “barbaric practices” of live-baiting exposed via the 2015 Four Corners episode.

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