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Animal welfare comes first: Tabcorp

AAP logoAAP 4/08/2016 Trevor Chappell

Gaming giant Tabcorp says animal welfare should be the top priority for the greyhound industry.

Tabcorp derives about five per cent of its total wagering turnover from NSW greyhound racing, which the state government is set to ban from July 2017.

The NSW government announced the ban last month after an inquiry found overwhelming evidence of systemic animal cruelty, including mass greyhound killings and live baiting.

"What we have seen in relation to animal cruelty is abhorrent," Tabcorp chief executive David Attenborough said at the release of Tabcorp's annual financial results on Thursday.

"We support a well regulated industry where animal welfare comes first.

"Our job as a wagering operator is to ensure we comply with the regulations and provide finances and money back to the (racing) codes - that is all legislated - so that those codes can pay for and ensure that the animal welfare is put at the forefront of what they do."

Mr Attenborough said Tabcorp delivers back to the various racing codes some $780 million in fees and other payments, including a significant proportion to the greyhound racing industry.

"It is important that that money is used the right way to drive and ensure that animal welfare is maintained," Mr Attenborough said.

Asked if Tabcorp could put any pressure on the greyhound sector to lift its game, Mr Attenborough said Tabcorp worked closely with regulators, government and the sporting codes and continually urged them to maintain and raise integrity.

"The industries in Australia, on the world stage are well respected, and regulate themselves very strongly," he said.

Tabcorp expects punters on NSW greyhound racing will switch their betting to other racing and sports events.

"There is plenty of product for customers to choose to bet on," Mr Attenborough said.

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