SYDNEY, (Pakistan Point News - APP -24th Augst,2016) - Greyhound racing has been outlawed in Australia's most populous state despite fierce resistance from dog owners, with the New South Wales opposition leader dubbing the ban a "cruel ambush" of working class people. The ban, which will take effect from July 1st 2017, was passed in an overnight session by the New South Wales parliament in Sydney, state Premier Mike Baird said. Although opposed by the dog racing industry and sparking heated debate within his right-leaning coalition government, the ban is intended to save thousands of dogs.
"I'm proud of the decision we have made to save thousands upon thousands of dogs from cruelty and death," Baird said in a statement Wednesday. "It wasn't an easy decision, but it was the right decision," he said, adding that the government would help trainers and breeders whose livelihoods were impacted. Australia has one of the world's largest greyhound racing industries, but Baird introduced the ban following a string of scandals including "live baiting" and the slaughter of tens of thousands of dogs. Live baiting has been banned for decades in Australia but the national broadcaster revealed in 2015 that live animals including piglets, rabbits and possums were still being used as bait to train some of the nation's most successful dogs.