Funding fight looms in greyhound shake-up

Stefanie Menezes

NSW greyhound trainers will be hit with mandatory life bans for live baiting among some of the toughest restrictions in Australia under a new plan aimed at stamping out animal cruelty in the sport.

The regulatory arrangements are among 122 recommendations from an independent review into the sport, including the creation of an independent integrity body which can use covert surveillance to oversee the industry.

Former Labor premier Morris Iemma was last year tasked with chairing the NSW Greyhound Industry Reform Panel after then-premier Mike Baird sensationally overturned a ban on the sport.

He says animal welfare will come first under the proposed regime.

"That is backed with a new code - a code that is enforceable with tough penalties and principles," he said on Thursday.

Greyhound Racing NSW would be stripped of its regulatory functions and only oversee the sport's commercial operations, with the proposed new integrity commission to look into conflicts of interest within the industry, Mr Iemma said.

The panel has also recommended stricter controls on euthanasia, registration and tracking of greyhounds for their entire lives and a "modest bond" for all dogs bred for the industry.

The measures give the industry a chance to redeem themselves, panel member and RSPCA chairman Steven Coleman said.

"Silence is no longer an excuse. If the industry is to continue, it needs to step up and report bad practices," he said.

NSW Greyhound Industry Racing Alliance chief executive Brenton Scott meanwhile pointed to a recommendation that the industry receive a greater share of TAB's betting revenues.

"The inequity in our wagering funding model has been clearly identified by the panel, with firm recommendations for government intervention, and the industry looks forward to working with the government as this matter is further considered and resolved," he said.

Racing Minister Paul Toole would not be drawn on how much the government would be willing to cough up to help the industry pay for the reforms.

"We want to see the industry survive," he said.

The government would respond in coming weeks, Mr Toole said, with legislation to overturn the ban introduced immediately after.

Labor's racing spokesman, Michael Daley, says the government now has "all the tools it needs" to clean up the sport.

"We like what we see because it puts in place a new cop on the beat," he told reporters in Sydney.

He's urged the government to use $30 million that had been set aside to shut down the industry to instead help it continue operating.

It's yet to be determined how the measures might be funded.

The NSW Greens have rejected the report saying it's "just a political compromise".

"There is no way any regulator can reform an industry so rotten to the core," Greens MLC Mehreen Faruqi said in a statement.