Australia: Racing Queensland Boards Abolished & Greyhound Racing Industry Report

By Thomas Zhong

The Queensland State government has announced a restructure of the racing industry in light of an inquiry into the greyhound racing industry. The Report published by inquiry commissioner Alan MacSporran was highly critical of the greyhound racing industry, noting that:

public confidence may have been dealt an almost terminal blow by the exposure of what is likely to have been a widespread practice of live baiting in the greyhound racing industry… the practice of live baiting could not be engaged in without the acquiescence of many, who although not directly involved, chose to ignore the cruelty and turned a blind eye.”

The key recommendation from the Report was the separation of commercial and integrity branches of the industry – allowing for one body to concentrate on the business (to maximise commercial success) and the other body to focus on ensuring integrity (with the prioritisation of animal welfare issues).

Other recommendations include:

  • a new statutory authority be created which is dedicated to ensuring the integrity of the Queensland racing industry.
  • an all codes board be established as the control body for all three codes of racing (Thoroughbred, Harness and Greyhound).
  • the tracking of Greyhounds from birth to leaving the racing industry.
  • increasing oversight over licensing requirements and compliance with the rules of racing.

The Queensland Inquiry is the first of three Inquiries announced by State Governments in Australia, with the New South Wales report due on 30 September 2015 and the Victorian report due imminently.

A copy of the Queensland Inquiry Report can be viewed here.