Greyhound racing at Lismore.
Greyhound racing at Lismore. Contributed

Lismore greyhound track reopening is a 'farce': Senator

A SENATOR has slammed the decision to reopen the Lismore greyhound track after less than a week, saying it showed the industry had no interest in reforms.

The track was closed by Greyhound Racing NSW last Thursday when an injury report compiled over 12 months revealed a high injury and fatality rate at Lismore's track compared to others around the state.

The track re-opened on Tuesday after an expert panel concluded it was suitable for greyhound racing and trialling.

But Greens Senator for NSW and Spokesperson for Animal Welfare, Dr Mehreen Faruqi, called the reopening of the track a farce.

"The greyhound racing industry has again proven how unwilling they are to clean up their act and stop the continued deaths and catastrophic injuries suffered during greyhound racing," she said.

"To have three dogs die on track in a matter of weeks from gruesome fractures and then pretend that it has nothing to do with the track shows that they are living in a parallel universe.

"The reality is that racing dogs always has an inherent risk. If they are not even willing to close their most dangerous tracks, I think it really shows how uninterested they are in reforming the industry.

"It is an industry emboldened to continue business as usual.

"We need to cut off the public funding for this so-called sport and ban it once and for all.

"It more than two years since the racing ban backflip and dogs continue to die on and off the track."

Lismore greyhound track operations manager, John Zorzo, yesterday told The Northern Star they were "always confident with the safety and surface of the track".

"It was ultimately up to the three individuals and we're excited to be back racing next week," he said.

"It was hard to sit at home (Tuesday night) and watch the dogs race at a different track (Casino)."

GRNSW said it had an ongoing commitment to animal welfare and safety and would continue to monitor racing at the Lismore track for any potential issues with track condition or design.

"I have full confidence in our track curator. He has been involved in the industry for more than 20 years," Zorzo said.

"It's back to business for us now and we have the Lismore Lions Club and Lismore Workers swim team booked in for fundraiser nights in February."



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