Greyhound racing boss quits over damning report

The CEO of Greyhound Racing NSW has quit after a scathing vet report made shocking allegations of poor animal welfare practices in the industry.

Photo: AAP

Photo: AAP

Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) CEO Robert Macaulay resigned late on Tuesday after a report written by the organisation’s former chief veterinary officer Alex Brittan was made public.

The report included claims that greyhound deaths were being hidden, adoption rates were exaggerated and dogs were being pushed to race at levels that were causing injuries.

Racing Minister David Harris received the report in June and referred it to the NSW Office of Racing for further scrutiny, while the government backed Animal Justice MP Emma Hurst’s bid for the document to be made public.

But after media published details from the report on Tuesday, Hurst said the Greyhound Welfare and Integrity Commission made a privilege claim to stop its further distribution.

“You may be wondering just how damning those documents are to have such a knee-jerk reaction to suddenly attempt to stop them from becoming public … that would be a good question,” she told AAP.

Harris issued a show-cause notice to the Greyhound Racing NSW board earlier in July, alleging the organisation had breached the terms of its operating licence.

Board members have until Friday to respond to the notices.

“In accordance with due process, I will determine next steps, based on the responses I receive from the board,” Harris said.

“It is important that the industry meets the highest standards of animal welfare and that concerns raised about important matters are appropriately addressed.”

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In a statement on Tuesday, the organisation’s board said it had accepted Macauley’s resignation.

“(His) decision to resign was an amicable one and one he felt was best for the industry at this time,” it said.

“Mr Macaulay helped reform the organisation, and the industry’s culture, during his tenure.

“GRNSW now looks forward to embarking on its next chapter of continual improvement and growth, for the benefits of all participants.”

The Greens continued their calls for the industry to be shut completely, labelling greyhound racing “incapable of reform”.

“Time and time again, we have heard damning and well-documented evidence of cruel and corrupt practices across the industry including live baiting, doping, discarded greyhounds, cruel kennel conditions and fudged rehoming numbers,” MP Abigail Boyd said.

Then-NSW premier Mike Baird in 2016 announced a ban on greyhound races following evidence of extensive misconduct within the industry, but backflipped on the plans before they took effect.


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