LOCAL leaders have aired genuine fear for the future of agriculture in the wake of the state government’s greyhound racing ban.
It comes after Cootamundra MP Katrina Hodgkinson was unceremoniously demoted via press release late last week for crossing the floor of parliament to protect thousands of regional jobs.
Ms Hodgkinson told The Daily Advertiser she was taken aback when NSW Nationals leader Troy Grant broke a commitment that members of his own party would not be punished for revolting against the government’s greyhound ban.
“It’s the leader’s discretion, but he made a point of making sure nobody would be penalised for crossing the floor,” she said.
Ms Hodgkinson worries the greyhound ban has set a potentially disastrous precedent for livestock farming and other forms of animal-related sports.
“The greyhound ban was announced as a fait accompli, there was nothing I could do,” Ms Hodgkinson said.
“What’s next; bans on camp drafting, rodeos, poultry farming, dairy farming, piggeries?”
Riverina MP Michael McCormack said the greyhound racing ban was “the thin edge of the wedge”, which had emboldened “largely irrational” animal activists.
“Animal liberationists will not stop until every animal is set free,” Mr McCormack said.
“When they finally get their way and some stupid government in the future bans thoroughbred racing, we’ll look back and say the greyhound ban was the start of this nonsense.”
In 2013 Temora community members volunteered 2,500 man-hours worth more than $340,000 to upgrade the greyhound track from grass to sand in a bid to secure the facility’s future.
Temora mayor Rick Firman said the greyhound club injected $250,000 per year, money “the local economy cannot afford to lose”.
“This decision is sickening and disappointing,” Cr Firman said.
“Greyhound racing was part of the fabric of our community and promoted Temora across the country.”