Adam Hourigan

Leaked phone call strikes blow to greyhound industry

THE Baird Government has dealt another blow to the condemned greyhound industry in an effort to discredit one of its key figures as a live baiting apologist.

Deputy Premier Troy Grant tabled in parliament a transcript of a private conversation between trainer Tony Gannon - a vocal opponent to the proposed ban - and former Greyhound Racing NSW chief Brent Hogan.

The conversation followed Mr Gannon learning ABC's Four Corners would days later air footage of two trainers using possums for live baiting during an investigation into animal cruelty in the industry.

"Two gentlemen got caught getting a possum on - a possum for live kill," the transcript quotes Mr Gannon as saying.

"I don't know why they didn't go and bash them and take the camera. I'd have took the camera off them."

Mr Gannon was also quoted as saying: "I don't care about dead rabbits... The issue of money is more my concern to keep the industry going."

Before tabling the documents, Mr Grant said Labor Leader Luke Foley had stood beside Mr Gannon at a protest at the Wentworth Park racetrack on Tuesday, calling him a "respected greyhound industry figure".

In fact, the transcript had already been leaked to the Daily Telegraph a fortnight before the rally.

Mr Grant said the conversation revealed industry participants could call the GRNSW top brass and strike bargains to avoid prosecution for live baiting.

"The Nationals will always stand up for the bush and its people and will always stand up for primary industries," he said.

"What we will not do is stand next to thugs and bullies unlike others who may choose to do so.

"Under this regime, participants could call the CEO and indicate that if they had their way they would have barred journalists from greyhound racing tracks so they could not witness the injuries and deaths of greyhounds at those tracks."

Labor MP Chris Minns accused the government of having its priorities wrong.

"The government has an inquiry into greyhounds, but not into the administration of health in NSW," he said.

"I do not care what the government says: Greyhounds are not more important than the health of the people of New South Wales." -ARM NEWSDESK