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Rally protests NSW greyhound ban reversal

AAP logoAAP 23/10/2016 Anna Hitchings

Cries of "shame" and "Backflip Baird" peppered the air as hundreds gathered in Sydney to protest the reversal of the greyhound racing ban in NSW.

Politicians and animal welfare figures addressed a crowd of up to 1000 in Martin Place on Sunday morning, criticising the Baird Government's recent backdown and calling for the controversial ban to be reinstated.

"Like you, I am devastated and I am gutted by this U-turn by Premier Baird," NSW Greens MP Mehreen Faruqi told the rally.

"The evidence of animal cruelty and brutality is overwhelming. It's widespread, it's systemic and it's heart-wrenching, and we will not tolerate any more of it."

Mr Baird's backflip came after a slump in his approval ratings, and months of insisting he wouldn't budge on his pledge to shut down the industry in July next year.

The industry has now been given once last chance under strict new regulations, including harsh animal cruelty controls and controlled breeding.

Dozens held signs supporting the ban and decrying animal cruelty while others brought their greyhounds and other dogs with them.

Greyhound owner Adi Galimidi, who bought two dogs from Greyhound Rescue three years ago, said she was disappointed by the reversal.

"I was always a bit concerned whether or not it would stand up and it's unfortunate. We're just here to support it and hope the ban stays in place," she said.

Ms Galimidi said she and her husband weren't surprised by the revelation of live baiting and other instances of cruelty within the industry.

"You hear stories. Even trainers have admitted that's the only way they get their dogs to run so for us it was not a surprise at all."

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