Lorraine and Maddie Dransfield own Richmond Valley Pet Supplies in Casino,
Lorraine and Maddie Dransfield own Richmond Valley Pet Supplies in Casino, Susanna Freymark

Casino shop to close if greyhound ban goes ahead

A report prepared by Richmond Valley Council staff for tonight's council meeting includes a case study of a local pet supply shop which is expected to close if the proposed the NSW government's ban on greyhound racing goes ahead in July 2017.

The report recommends that Richmond Valley Council notes that the closure of the NSW Greyhound Racing Industry will lead to a loss of $10.5 million direct investment, 49 jobs and $2.4 million in salaries and wages to the Richmond Valley economy.

Local business will suffer

With 50% of her business directly attributed to the greyhound industry, owner of Richmond Valley Pet Supply Lorraine Dransfield, will stand to lose $6000 per week should the ban go ahead.

Her business was used as a case study in the council report titled: "Richmond Valley Council Economic and Social Assessment of the Impact of the NSW Government's Announced Closure of the NSW greyhound Industry".

Most of the Casino pet supply shop's trade relates to fresh meat and kibble for the greyhounds and to a lesser extent dog beds, coats and supplements.

"I know many people in this town that are already planning on leaving," Mrs Dransfield said.

"I know a lot of people disapprove of the industry but it's not fair that they have painted us in the same light," she said.

The business employs a total of five part-time staff.

Without the turnover from greyhounds, Mrs Dransfield said she would close the doors or sell a downsized business leading to a loss of jobs.

Flow on effects

The report states there will be flow-on effects both in terms of social and economic impacts.

Many small cottage industries will be significantly impacted and are unlikely to have been considered when quantifying the impact of the ban.

For example, the lady who makes the coats for the dogs and the man who fixes the muzzles.

The report continues: Many people live for their dogs and give them a reason to get out of bed in the morning.

The greyhound community and the race meetings provide a social outlet for many people.

Many breeders and trainers have recently made large capital investment in their properties to upgrade/improve their facilities.

Mrs Dransfield believes many will just walk away from the industry and hand their dogs into the RSPCA and council pounds.

The staff report also recommends that council provides the Economic and Social Impact Assessment Report to the NSW Government and local members of parliament Mr Chris Gulaptis, Member for Clarence and the Hon Thomas George, Member for Lismore.

Council to cop it

According to the council report, if the greyhound industry ban proceeds Richmond Valley Council will be left with a redundant race track, lose annual revenue and is likely to have to take over maintenance of the facility.

If the industry closes council will also be required to re-home or euthanise the significant number of greyhounds that the current greyhound owners will be left with and in many cases unable to afford to feed leaving them with no alternative other to surrender them to council's animal shelter.

The race track was upgraded from a grass track to an all-weather loam track to improve safety at the start of 2015 at a cost of $850,000 which was funded by the Casino Greyhound Club.

The club pay council $6,500 per annum for the use of the facility.