Mudgee president 'ecstatic' over greyhound industry reprieve

Ecstatic:  Len Haaring and his daughter Samantha are delighted with the state government's backdown on a state-wide greyhound industry ban.

Ecstatic: Len Haaring and his daughter Samantha are delighted with the state government's backdown on a state-wide greyhound industry ban.

Mudgee Greyhound Club president Len Haaring has gone from "shattered" to "absolutely ecstatic" after Premier Mike Baird announced that plans to ban greyhound racing would be dropped. 

Mr Haaring, who has been in the industry for 20 years, has 12 young dogs ready to start racing, whose careers would have been limited to six months if the ban had come into force from July, 2017. 

Mr Haaring said the Greyhound Industry Alliance, formed to fight the ban, would work with the greyhound industry reform panel on new conditions for the industry. Proposals include restricting the number of puppies bred to 2000 each year, reducing the number of tracks and race events and a $1500 bond for every dog bred. 

I was at a meeting at Coonamble and it was so sad. People didn’t want to leave at the end of the day... - Len Haaring

Mr Haaring said he agreed that the number of puppies bred should be restricted, although he was unsure whether the proposed cap was realistic. 

Restricting the number of litters per bitch to two would encourage owners to breed only the best dogs and improve the quality of the breed and standard of racing, he said. 

Mr Haaring said that instead of closing country tracks, the state government should invest in upgrading tracks and improving track safety and encourage joint ventures between large and small clubs. 

Non-TAB tracks such as Mudgee, close to Sydney and the major breeding centres on the Central West, were in an ideal position to cater for dogs which had not qualified to race on the major tracks, he said. 

Mr Haaring, who last year invested in a new shed with facilities complying with the current code, said recent months had been stressful for him, his family and fellow breeders. 

“I was at a meeting at Coonamble and it was so sad. People didn’t want to leave at the end of the day, because they were thinking that the meeting would be the last [in Coonamble].” he said.

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