Australia’s most successful greyhound trainers accused of using live bait

February 17, 2015 3:28 pm

Live pigs, rabbits and possums have been tied to mechanical lures and
used as bait to train some of Australia’s most successful greyhounds.
The
revelation that some unscrupulous trainers are using live animals to
train greyhounds will devastate the industry, authorities say.
A
number of greyhound trainers in Victoria, NSW and have been
implicated in live baiting, which the RSPCA believes is entrenched and
systemic in the industry.
Greyhound Racing Victoria chairman
Peter Caillard said the allegations will tarnish the sport’s image,
despite industry figures believing the illegal practice is isolated to a
minority of trainers.
“This is devastating for the greyhound racing industry because it’s simply disgusting conduct,” Mr Caillard told reporters.

“Here you have a small number that have done something abhorrent, not just the wrong thing, something absolutely abhorrent.

Of course it’s going to have a bad effect on greyhound racing.”
Twenty-four
trainers and staff have been suspended in Victoria, NSW and Queensland
but Animals Australia says 70 people have been implicated including
high-profile trainers.
Peak body Greyhounds Australasia’s CEO
Scott Parker said the industry’s 30,000 participants who play by the
rules have had their reputations severely and unfairly damaged by the
conduct, shown on the ABC’s Four Corners program.
“This is conduct that is being undertaken by a very small minority of people, that’s illegal and abhorrent,” Mr Parker told AAP.
“It shocks us that it isn’t seemingly just one person who is ignorant of the rules and has been led astray.
“The
footage did allegedly show people that know the rules, they know the
law and they’ve risked not only their own reputation, their own
livelihood, but the reputation and livelihoods of 30,000 others and
that’s completely unacceptable.
“If found guilty, they don’t deserve the right to belong to this industry.”
Greyhound Racing NSW chief executive Brent Hogan said his organisation needs greater powers to stamp out animal cruelty.
“What
we need to look at is the powers around surveillance and inspections –
and we need to make sure those powers are sufficient to allow us to weed
out activities of the type we saw last night,” he told ABC Radio.
Independent MP Andrew Wilkie wants greyhound racing suspended nationally but Mr Parker said that was not necessary.
“The
vast majority of people in the industry are law abiding and do the
right thing not only by themselves and the greyhounds that they own and
train but by each other.”
Mr Caillard said there was no evidence
to suggest live baiting was being used in Victoria beyond a
privately-owned training facility at Tooradin, which has been suspended
pending an investigation.
Victorian Racing Integrity Commissioner
Sal Perna said reform was needed to stop trainers getting around
sanctions by transferring ownership of dogs to relatives.
“If it
doesn’t have any effect because they can move a dog over to someone else
and continue to be doing what they did. They’re not working and they
need to be addressed,” he said of sanctions.
Investigations are underway in the three states.

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