NSW Premier Mike Baird has announced that greyhound racing will be banned in NSW from July 1, 2017.
The news comes after a special commission into the industry overseen by Former High Court judge Michael McHugh, which found overwhelming evidence of animal cruelty including mass killings and live baiting.
"The report is ... chilling, confronting, horrific," Mr Baird said of the 800 page report. "He (Justice McHugh) has shone a light on an industry that has overseen the slaughter of tens of thousands of healthy dogs whose only crime was not being fast enough."
"This is not an easy decision. It is certainly one that is not taken lightly but when confronted with Justice McHugh's report it is the right thing to do."This is an industry across the world that has been shrinking."
The report found that "In NSW in the last 12 years… somewhere between 48,891 and 68,448 dogs were killed because they were considered too slow to pay their way or were unsuitable for racing."
It also found the use of “live baiting” is widespread despite this already being illegal and carrying heavy penalties. “A trainer, who admitted to engaging in live baiting, testified that about 10-20% of trainers engaged in live baiting,” read the report.
The problem now remains in finding homes for the some 6000 dogs who will be homeless after the ban comes into effect, with animal rights groups voicing their concerns over dogs being euthanased, sold overseas or abused.
Animal Welfare League CEO Andrew Mason tells ABC they are “concerned” for the welfare of the dogs and are calling for the Government to provide assistance to the industry.
"There's definitely concern that this could happen right under our noses," he said.
The RSCPA are now calling for the rest of the states to follow suit.
"All of the problems that have been identified in New South Wales are also based on the evidence occurring nationally and so this is why we need a national ban in place," says RSPCA's Dr Jade Norris.