This week NSW Labor leader Luke Foley had done an extraordinary thing. He has basically driven Labor party members in NSW to the Greens, and he has done so in a fleet of Greyhound buses.

He has done this through his kneejerk reaction to Mike Baird’s ban on greyhound racing in NSW as of July next year.

His reaction has been at first to question Baird’s judgement on the ban, then oppose it, then promising to overturn it, and finally in a fit of something that resembles either madness or desperation used it to cry of class warfare, claiming the ban was “elitist”.

It’s an alarming position from the State branch of the Labor Party that only two years ago was seen as the branch with the strongest animal welfare position. How the whiff of short-sighted opportunity has poisoned things.

This opposition for the sake of opposition not only puts Luke Foley in the same class of politician as Tony Abbott, it does enormous damage to a state branch that did so well in the Federal election.

To the voter it says that NSW Labor places higher value on political opportunism than they do on their own credibility and integrity. It also tells members who feel their integrity is worth something that they have two remaining options. Should they wish to remain a Labor Party Member they can move to the ACT where they stand up for their values instead of using them as a bargaining chip, or failing that I’m sure the Greens will welcome with open arms.

Luke Foley and Mike Baird Image - ABC

Luke Foley and Mike Baird
Image – ABC

The ACT Branch of the Labor Party have shown that this is not just a Liberal/Labor stoush. The Labor govt in the ACT have also banned greyhound racing, demonstrating that compassion and doing the right thing should be something that is bi-partisan.

Last week there were both Labor members and regular voters all over Australia in shock and struggling to comprehend that a Liberal government would act on the greyhound issue so decisively. The only thing they may have a tougher time comprehending is why on earth Labor would oppose it.

This really is Twilight Zone territory.

If Labor have any desire whatsoever to even be the major party of opposition in NSW at the next state election their best hope is to tell us all that this was a captains call, and then figure out a way of dealing with the captain.

A greyhound tears a live possum apart at training Image - ABC

A greyhound tears a live possum apart at training
Image – ABC

There have been all kinds of ludicrous excuses for opposition to the ban.

The dogs will be killed. Yes, they may well be, but this is an industry that slaughters tens of thousands of dogs so the cycle has to be broken at some point. This is just the number of dogs killed, it does not take into account the rabbits, possums and other countless animals that have been tortured and killed as live bait for training purposes.

Baird will sell off the racetracks to developers. And? I mean really? We should continue to allow the torture and slaughter of thousands upon thousands of animals rather than build some flats? Mike Baird has guaranteed that the publicly owned tracks will remain public space, but if he breaks that promise it will be of little concern to the dogs being used for dental experiments, or having their blood drained.

Other industries like the meat industry kill thousands of animals. Yep, no denying that. Next time I sit down to my Sunday roast greyhound or Kentucky Fried Possum I’ll remember that too. The meat industry kills animals in the pursuit of food, not the pursuit of entertainment or the gambling dollar.

The owners and trainers love their dogs. I’m sure many do, however I find it odd that those claiming to love their dogs are threatening to kill them all now they can’t race, that doesn’t sound like love to me. When a council closes down child care centres and playgroups we don’t hear of parents threatening to kill their kids and dump them in a ditch.

As for the elitist argument, what a load of crap.

The argument that any person of any background can go and enjoy a day at the greyhound track is just as true for thoroughbred horse racing. There is no dress restriction and nobody has to show their previous years tax returns to enter at Randwick or Rosehill, minimum bets with the bookies are still the same size and food and drink prices at the public bars are pretty much the same. We’ve all seen the elite Foley is referring to hanging around the local TAB on a Saturday afternoon.

A couple of Luke Foley's elite enjoy a Chablis at the horse races Image- Socialnews

A couple of Luke Foley’s elite enjoy a Chablis at the horse races

One can’t help but wonder at Foley’s connection with greyhound racing if he is really ready to put his neck in the noose over it.

Some may remember that upon becoming NSW Labor’s leader one of Foley’s first announcements was not one involving school or hospitals, but instead one that involved $339 Million in tax cuts to the greyhound racing industry. This was made in the midst of the special commission inquiry into the industry after countless cases of animal cruelty, drug usage, corruption and a complete lack of accountability and an unwillingness to clean up even after being exposed.

One wonders why this is the issue he has dug his heels in over.

Still, he is not alone, Foley has those from the industry who have “done nothing wrong” and have been caught up in the saga because of the actions of others bringing the “sport” into disrepute.

People like the Lords, who told the ABC

“A very small minority of people did things wrong because they thought they could get away with it”

The Lords have been disqualified several times for doping dogs with steroids and even cocaine, and have also been charged by Greyhound Racing NSW with illegally exporting dogs to Macau where dogs often face horrendous torture and brutal deaths. The use of illegal drugs like cocaine make me wonder why the Lords aren’t languishing in prison.

But let’s remember these are apparently the good guys of the industry.

Let’s also remember this is not a “sport”. No greyhound has made a conscious decision to take up athletics. While training may be a talent, so is being a mechanic, however we don’t treat car repairs as sport.

A greyhound holiday in Macau

A greyhound holiday in Macau

You won’t hear me say it often, however Mike Baird needs to be congratulated on his decision to act so decisively to end the abuse. It was a gutsy decision, far better than his lacklustre reaction to the horrendous puppy factories scattered across his state.

Mike Baird is not alone, The Labor Party’s Andrew Barr, Chief Minister of the Australian Capital Territory has also announced the ban will be put in place in the ACT.

We can only hope that other state governments will have the courage to follow their lead.

It is only proper to also say that this would not have happened without the persistence of the late John Kaye of the Greens who unfortunately passed away before seeing the inquiry he fought so hard for hand down its findings.

To Bill Shorten, thank your lucky stars this didn’t happen a couple of weeks ago or your new red map of Western Sydney might look considerably bluer.

To Luke Foley, the reason you find you are having to defend your actions so heavily is due to the fact that you have chosen to defend an indefensible industry. Whatever your reasons they are wrong, whatever hopes you have for the industry have been rendered hopeless, and the good people you have found in the industry are likely just animal-abusing arseholes in disguise.

This disgraceful industry needs a nationwide ban.

28 thoughts on “Dog Days Are Over – What the hell is with NSW Labor?

  1. Well i don’t Like Greyhound Racing But It would have been better Closed down gradually than a Larger scale slaughter of these Greyhound Dogs . Their will be Mass slaughter of them more than ever in the past. So more animals will die at the Whims of a political lobby group
    Most older Greyhound’s that no longer race Do make very good family pets .I had one in the past a reject .
    Why don’t we Ban Shooters , Gun licenses The sale Of Guns and Ammunition Also Party’s like the Shooters party that do more cruller things than any other racing industry .We should ban horse racing for the same reasons they make pet food out of them . So even though i don’t like greyhound racing Horse racing , gamboling is worse of all so just BAN GAMBELING and all bases are covered that includes poker machines etc.

  2. That’s exactly why the ban comes into effect in a year

  3. I wonder if Luke Foley, like Katrina Hodgkinson had not actually read through the commission’s findings before shooting his mouth off? I hope that is all it is. However, reading that Foley has already given tax breaks to this industry previously is ringing alarm bells for me. Sounds like there is a personal connection of some sort there. Anyway, I live in hope that the overnight outroar on social media may have caused him to rethink his stance

  4. There has been mass slaughter occurring in the past, there is mass slaughter occurring now and there will be mass slaughter occurring every year this repulsive, vile industry continues to go on. Read the 800 page eleven volume report, then comment again!

  5. Is Luke Foley still a thing? Thought he’d retired ages ago. A real non-entity.
    “Rake”-like LotO.

  6. As much as I dislike Baird and many of his governments policies, I strongly believe he has shown backbone and clarity of judgement to ban this disgusting “sport”.

    I never thought I’d say this, but well done Mike Baird and well done Andrew Barr.

    We need other state/territory leaders to also grow the balls to ban this abhorrent “sport”.

    The greyhound racing industry have had many, many chances and a long time to clean up their act, but haven’t……torture, misery and cruelty as usual for them.

    Good riddance to greyhound racing.

    Now they must work on (and help fund) a real strategy to re-home remaining racing greyhounds.

    Luke Foley appears to have shown his true colours as an opportunistic dickhead.

    The Labor party must now replace Foley.
    I know I cannot vote for him after this pathetic spectacle.

  7. Just to add….

    … the AWU and Sam Dastyari…….

    For fucks sake……WAKE UP YOU IDIOTS!!!

    Who cares about greyhound industry employees when they’ve ALL been a part of the abhorrent practices that have gone on for so long.
    There is no way they can deny knowledge or claim to be angels.

    Tell them to get real jobs and then support them.

  8. Bridget I see what is dumped in the bush not good my Biggest worry is for the ones that Owners care about Those dogs are certainly to be saved but the trainers ate the culprits when a dog does not preform then its shamefully put down., Ps its the same in old abandant Quarries with Horses being dumped or let starve to death

  9. Great article, the time has come to shut this down nationwide.

  10. The misinformation about this “industry” is perpetuated in the media. There are NOT thousands of full time jobs. most trainers don’t give a rats, and the dogs would have been put to death eventually unless racing superstars. The whiny Lord family should have been barred years ago, yet I haven’t seen the ABC do a follow-up to the “poor me” interview on 7.30. Trainers who do rehome dogs via small rescue organisations inevitably hold an emotional blackmail (Dog must be gone by xxx or I’ll kill him) and for years trainers have been doping with drugs of human addiction that they hope won;t get picked up (eg cocaine, speed, viagra)
    plus getting inappropriate doses of drugs like Oxytocin in “whelping Kits” provided by the associations. The whole lot need to go, and now would be not soon enough. Picture is no better in the few other countries that allow racing. We barely stand above Macau, and that is where most trainers are threatening to send their dogs.

  11. Foley better remember there is more people supporting the shutdown of the greyhound racing rather than supporting the trainers so wake up if you think it’s giving you browny points as it will work against you

  12. Of course he has read the commission findings but he is after Mr Bairds job. Our at least tge Labor party is. You are a disgrace Mr Foley and we can see right through you. Grow and be a man.

  13. Does Luke Foley own greyhounds how can he defend such cruelty I’m glad it is being banned I wish other states would follow its about time dogs were given a break one of the most abused and exploited animals just look at Yulin

  14. A good report on a very sad situation. I think there is a simple explanation, though. Foley is STUPID STUPID STUPID STUPID !!!!

  15. You guys don’t have a clue of the exaggerations and false statistics of the report. Its a pathetic joke. All retired dogs are classed as dead and even if they were all put down the horses statistics are still way worse. Come see my dogs and retired dogs any day getting fed there $20 a kilo kibble. Until you know how true the stats are and where they got there so called proof from shut your pathetic mouths. You are the morons that need to be put down. In fact show your faces in public and I might help you with that. Lettuce eating far quits!

  16. This is an article showing again how powerful the animal rights groups have been in their PR. You who are perfectly able to read through spin and understand natural justice have failed in this article.

    A small number of the people were live baiting, how many ? who knows but there is no evidence that it was more than 10 and no evidence than ANY are doing it now at all so why keep on showing these images? Where is the balance in reporting showing teh good images, I bet everyone;s first thought is, ha there are no good images and THAT shows just how powerful this spin and PR has been and how cunning and pervasive and effective when a tiny group becomes representative of thousands of people and such are thus so misrepresented. Why keep showing these images without balance?

    Because it allows anger and emotion to blind people about what is happening.

    Currently Collective Punishment is being smashed down upon an industry for the deeds of a few and people who usually stand up for justice are tutting away.

    The Board was sacked. A new CEO is in place. As problems arose and were identified in the Enquiry the new Board and CEO took immdiate action to sort such out. The action was so swift and sharp to tackle and sort out problems that the Commissioner bemoaned it made it hard to assess what problems were left

    The commissioner cynically comments repeatedly about unsure anything can be done or the will to be done despite earlier bemoaning the annoyance that it was done! What does that say about this enquiry?!

    All these numbers quoted are purely guesses and then extrapolation based upon guesses and all of these wrapped up as pseudo facts.I have read the First Volume and was astounded such would be considered a valid report based upon such hearsay and lack of proper evidence of widespread problems. How much of any of this would be considered valid in a court of law….almost NONE. Hearsay, rumour gossip, that was the basis of so much aside from the couple involved. No one doubt a few bad eggs did ruthles things to win, we see that in all CODES of SPORT dont we! And how many of thsoe have been totally banned in Australia despite the corruptiopn, doping, harm, illegal drugs?? The fact is that when these things are found, changes are made , the perpetrators punished and usually a better system is empower and better people can rise to positions of influence and power as their way is reinforced. That is what initially happened in the Greyhound Industry and the changes were being put in place……..but what do you think it does to the credibility of those who promote welfare and better ethics within groups when an industry is STILL Shut down despite all the best things in place and happening?

    This DAMAGES the credibility of those fighting for better ethics and welfare in all sports. When political gain trumps Justice. We want better conditions and strong support for such but when those who put such in place to revitalise and clean up their industry then find the whole industry slammed down and crushed and spat away due to politics and powerful PR of animal rights groups then one has to wonder where the actual battle lines lie, the priorities change. These betrayal of those doing the right things is appalling by anyone who support animal welfare and Justice.

    If you consider welfare important then you should SUPPORT The new board and CEO who have put these changes in place and those who wanted them put in place! These cost money and time and effort and are now made the priority of the industry and such money was spent and now all smashed back in their faces!

    There should instead have been Natural Justice, there should be proper supervision and support for the welfare changes. Neither has occured and people hypocritically and self righteous,y pat themselves upon the back for their support of the destruction.

    If anyone supported welfare and ethics they would be crying now against this injust decision

    Luke Foley is being very very brave and is a man of courage.. Few have such inpolitics when polling is against your stand. I am thoroughly impressed.

  17. If only the report quoted facts and didn’t pass off guesses as ‘fact’. Unfortunately people don’t realise that the story of puppies being drowned was in fact something copied from a report in Canada almost 15 years ago, that’s right IT DIDNT HAPPEN HERE. The numbers quoted as greyhounds killed were made up by making estimations of pups per litter and using the percentage of pups named to race, that’s right, A GUESS, and DIDNT INCLUDE dogs rehomed privately, dogs still with owners and trainers as pets, pups that died of natural causes which happens with all animals (parvo, snakebite, hurting itself running around in paddocks with other pups), none of these because the department that the government put in place were asleep at the wheel and not doing their job. They also asked why others didn’t tell them about any of the practices going on to be investigated, except other participants DID TELL THEM to investigate and they didn’t do their job. Too busy, too far to travel, any raft of excuses, why do you think they were all relieved of their posts at the start of last year? The facts are less than 1% of participants were charged with wrongdoing, not the 10 or 20% a guilty man spouted trying to justify his actions, less than 1%, and the numbers quoted were not facts at all, far from it, which is why Mr McHugh has since retracted statements from the report. He saw the progress made now the industry was being run properly by the government and they were listening to the good quality participants involved of which there are many, just a shame the lies and propaganda is what people are making their decisions on instead of the facts.

  18. One part of a massive report being mistaken doesn’t discount the rest of it, it doesn’t explain away the death rate, the drug use and the fudged figures from the industry.
    Propaganda indeed, the funny thing about propaganda is it comes from both sides

  19. Great, happy to rock up to your place, what’s the address?

    Yes, I do eat lettuce, usually with a steak.

    Glad you don’t leap to conclusions

  20. Peter that’s just it, the ‘death rate’ was a figure conjured up by assuming if a dog didn’t get named it was ‘death by slaughter’ and that just simply isn’t true. It includes pups that died young for whatever reason, it included dogs that were rehomed privately (of which there are thousands and thousands), it included every dog not reported to authorities which wasn’t compulsory until last year, it’s a joke. To give you an indication I was sent a form asking the whereabouts of 40 dogs in the last almost 20 years because they didn’t know what happened to them, these dogs would have been assumed euthanised in this report when the real number is 2, both due to legs that were broken and couldn’t be repaired, one on the track and one running around a large paddock with other dogs (playing) while spelling. So of the 40 that would be included in the quoted numbers that so many people rightly find terrible the real number was 2 which, when you extrapolate out to the hundreds of other owners, makes a VERY significant difference to the numbers at the core of the shut down argument. I had an 8 month old pup who ran into another pup running around in the paddock and broke her tibia and fibula and we spent $1,800 plating it then another $1,000 on rehab and board before she was rehomed through the NSW GAP a few months ago, that’s the truth about the majority of participants in this sport, we do love the dogs and we do care what happens to them but that doesn’t fit the portrayal the government is looking for. Are there bad apples? Absolutely but we want them weeded out as well, it’s just a shame the government elected organisation didn’t do their job to make sure that happened, even when they were given information by participants with their own concerns.

  21. To “Mike’s Nightmare”.

    It appears you are a dickhead of the highest order.

    How the hell does “and even if they were all put down the horses statistics are still way worse.” justify the horrific practices that have gone on in the greyhound industry for so long.

    What a tosser.

    Second, comes your lame “Come see my dogs and retired dogs any day getting fed there $20 a kilo kibble.” How does this justify anything?

    You keep a couple of select, retired dogs for breeding?……what did you do to the rest?
    What live animals do you use to train your dogs?

    I didn’t see you (or anyone in the industry for that matter) coming forward and raising the cruelty in the “sport”. What did you do to try and stop it?
    Even odds it was absolutely nothing.

    I’ll happily show my face in public to a dickhead like you any day of the week.
    What are you going to do?

    Absolutely nothing I’m sure …..just like the nothing you did to stop the rampant cruelty in your pathetic “sport”.

  22. What the hell showing a dog in the bin in Macau have to do with the Majority of Greyhound owners in Australia? what we export dogs to Macau?? there is 1or 2 exporters of greyhounds in Australia shut them down stop your whinging and penalising the other innocent 1,000s of loving and caring participants in the sport.

    Also Please start showing some information that is relative to NSW. Another issue whinging about Live baiting well we are all over !!! The wrong doers have been prosecuted NEXT!!.

    Maybe give the ppl whom run trial track or lure drivers of these tracks must have special licences and training and do regular checks if they don’t do the right thing to hold the licence you prosecute them not penalise the whole industry .
    It is not hard to put measures in place?? Educate and prosecute.
    But the whole issue here is NSW GOV didn’t want to work with the industry participants to educate and remove the issues. Once again I can tell you the old school greyhound folk may have live baited but the new educated young are totally against it and the future looked positive with education , training and prosecuting the wrong doers.

    A terrible decision by NSW government whom has a hidden AGENDA.

  23. This story is has as many holes in it as the McHugh report. A pity so many morons in this country fall for all the spin.

  24. One of those who was suspended for exporting dogs to Macau was one of those “good guys” of the industry from NSW.

    One of the wrongdoers live-baiting had 2 dogs racing at Wentworth Park just 2 weeks ago.

    This industry as little as 2 weeks ago still is happy to have dopers and live baiters enter dogs at it’s number 1 track-meet

    Seriously, what does it take to make these people clean up shop

  25. What really strikes me is Foley’s choice of battleground. Baird is a complete disaster. Flailing around wrecking the state with everything he’s got. Westconnex, dodgy related amalgamations, protest laws, lockouts, crazy police powers, tree chopping, Newcastle shafting, corruption… the list is long. And Foley picks greyhounds, the one arguably decent thing Baird has come up with?

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