Queensland’s racing boards have been sacked with the state government announcing it will restructure the industry in response to shocking animal cruelty in greyhound racing.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk tabled a report in parliament on Tuesday which showed Racing Queensland could not manage the risk of cruelty against dogs and turned a blind eye to live baiting.
The report, compiled after a Commission of Inquiry led by barrister Alan MacSporran QC, indicated thousands of dogs had been shot, hanged and electrocuted because they couldn’t run fast enough.
Ms Palaszczuk says the state’s racing boards – including those responsible for thoroughbred and harness racing – failed in their duty and must be held responsible.
“Today we are starting with a clean slate,” she told parliament.
Racing Queensland chief executive officer Darren Condon has been stood aside and given five days to show cause why he shouldn’t be sacked.
KPMG has also been appointed to advise the government on the implementation of the report’s 15 recommendations, including the formation of a new statutory oversight body.
Ms Palaszczuk said the most confronting evidence was that between 2003-13 more than 24,000 greyhound pups were born, but only 16,978 were named and registered.
She said it meant that 30 per cent of all greyhounds were unaccounted for in Queensland.
“The report shows this industry has dismally failed those animals it relies upon for considerable profit,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
The premier said her government would consider all 15 of the commissioner’s recommendations, including that all dogs be monitored for their whole lives.
“All Queenslanders want a racing industry that is based on integrity and proper animal welfare,” she said.
“Not one that is characterised by cruelty, dishonesty and at-best dubious regulation and an environment in which there is a failure of simple compliance measures.”
Mr Condon has refused to comment on his dismissal and would not discuss whether he would fight the decision.
Racing Queensland said they would not be commenting at this stage.