• Keegan Thomson

Family business of 40 years shattered by greyhound ban


A LOCAL family-owned business of 40 years will likely be forced to close after Premier Mike Baird passed a bill to shut down the New South Wales greyhound racing industry.

Brett Chambers, who has owned Farra Pet Foods in Penrith, says all his work has gone to waste because of the government’s decision.

“All the hard work, all the blood and sweat that goes along with working for a family business for the last 40 years is now gone,” Mr Chambers said.

“If the business closed because I wasn’t satisfying the customers then I would at least have myself to blame but this decision has meant our business and our livelihoods have been ripped out from underneath us,” he added.

Farra Pet Foods relies on the greyhound industry for the bulk of their business, which has been owned by Mr Chambers for the last 25 years. He is now at a loss as to what will happen. He said there hasn’t been any communication between him and the state government.

“I really don’t know, and I don’t think the government knows the full impacts of it all because the size of it is just massive,” he said. “At least 80 per cent of our business comes from greyhound owners, breeders or trainers and without them we’ll have to close.”

During the debate of the bill in Macquarie street, Londonderry MP Prue Car, who opposed the bill, spoke about Farra Pet Foods, echoing Mr Chambers fears.

“The business has proudly operated in the Penrith area for generations, but the owners are now not sure whether they will survive until next year,” Ms Car said.

As of July 1 next year greyhound racing state wide will be outlawed with fines of up to $11,000 and a one- year jail sentence for anyone caught organising a race in the state.

The greyhound prohibition bill will also ban the exporting of greyhounds to other states unless written consent is given by Greyhound Racing NSW, the peak industry body.

Much of the criticism around the ban comes from questions over compensation for greyhound trainers, breeders and racers, and the swift closure of the industry, which will have to end in less than 11 months.

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