Greyhound Racing NZ claims it is clean, animals rights group claims otherwise

Whippets compete during their greyhound race at a racetrack in Hamburg July 1, 2012. Whippets, also called English Greyhounds, are able to reach speeds up to 60 kilometres per hour (about 37 mph) on the 350 meter long race track. REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer (GERMANY - Tags: SPORT ANIMALS) - RTR34G00

With Australia's AU$4 billion greyhound industry still reeling from yesterday's decision by the New South Wales government to ban the so-called sport from next year, animal activists are now looking at whether other states will follow suit.

The outright ban came a year after investigative TV show Four Corners secretly recorded some of industry's top trainers engaging in the illegal and barbaric practice of live baiting, where live animals such as piglets, rabbits, possums and even kittens are attached to fast moving lures for greyhounds to chase and then kill. It's believed the appalling practice trains greyhounds to run faster in a race.

It's also estimated more than 60,000 greyhounds have been systematically killed over the past decade in Australia because they were deemed too slow, and therefore uncompetitive.

Chief executive of New Zealand Greyhound Racing, Phil Holden, told Newshub he wasn't surprised that greyhound racing had been banned in NSW because of the issues that were being confronting there, but claimed the New Zealand industry has been clean since the formation of an independent integrity unit.

However, NZ Greyhound Protection League spokesman Aaron Cross told Newshub he believes the racing integrity unit is a running joke, which claims to be independent, but is actually made up of industry players. Mr Cross also suggested the NZ greyhound industry is actually hiding the true number of dogs being culled here, as many animals are often put down after suffering injuries on the race track.

There's been swift reaction to the NSW ban by other Australian states, with the ACT government announcing it will also ban greyhound racing in the nation's capital, but it appears the multibillion-dollar industry will be kept alive in other states.

Racing boards in Victoria and Queensland have stated they are committed to reform and will protect the welfare of its animals while racing continues.

Australia and New Zealand are two of only eight countries who still have commercial greyhound racing industries.

Animal welfare groups on both sides of the Tasman have applauded the NSW ban.