Who wasn’t involved: the evidence should be available

ONE of the most amazing examples of the failure of the greyhound hierarchy to deal efficiently and professionally with the vast amount of video evidence collected by the undercover cameras shown on the recent Four Corners exposé has been by not asking for copies of the doubtless hundreds of hours of footage and combing through it to find those going about their business honestly and professionally.

Of course, officials may indeed have requested the footage I mention. Yet, not a word to that effect has emanated from the hallowed halls of officialdom (in this case the GRV) as far as I’m aware. Yet surely this would have been one of the first things to be considered in the aftermath of the damning evidence presented on Australia-wide television.

Greyhound racing is an industry which needs to foster good public relations, yet those at the helm fail time and time again. By public relations I do not mean the ‘spin’ of the kind we see day after day leaking from the offices of politicians of all shades and at all levels. I’m talking about quantifiable, verifiable, irrefutable evidence of people within greyhound racing, obviously the breeders, breakers and trainers, who are engaged in doing the right thing across the board.

Given the amount of footage the undercover cameras managed to catch, it would be interesting to see just how many of the various visitors to the Tooradin Trial Track were shown to have not been engaged in blooding and live baiting.

That evidence surely could be made available to the stewards in Victoria. Those stewards should be able to make identifications of the many trainers who trialled their greyhounds at Tooradin and never looked like being offered a rabbit, pig or possum or asked for one.

In the simple interests of fair play, honesty and transparency, one would hope those caught on camera doing nothing more than training their greyhounds correctly should be named and praised.

Right now, anybody who has ever visited the Tooradin Trial Track at any time is considered suspect. Yet, hopefully, there is plenty of video evidence to show there are plenty of trainers who went there and did nothing more than trial their charges as part of their normal training regime.

The wider community basically now believes every person involved in the breeding, rearing, breaking-in and training of greyhounds to race is involved in some way with blooding or live baiting their charges.

It’s no good for those in charge of the industry to make unsubstantiated claims to camera that most involved are not engaged in live baiting. We need evidence, and I would have thought the video footage from Tooradin could help provide that.

After all, it can’t be that hard to work out how many individuals make regular trips to Tooradin. Let’s say, as a broad argument, 100 individual trainers are regulars at the trial track each week and were captured on the undercover video footage. If the video evidence shows 20 of those engaged, Darren McDonald-style, in the live baiting, then it means 80 weren’t. That’s hard, verifiable evidence of 80 licensed persons who could be reasonably held up as good examples. It also provides at least a starting point for gauging the real extent of live baiting across the code.

While the animal liberationists and their allies may be viewed as the ‘enemy’ by many in the greyhound industry, the true ‘enemy’ lies among us. After all, if those charged with keeping the industry clean and compliant had been doing what they were being paid to do then Four Corners would never have had a story.

Past Discussion

  1. @Brad Hugh_ Fair point Brad.  But I was referring to the views expressed in the documentary and not the views of the activists outside of this.  It wasn’t an overly relevant point to make anyway, I just go rambling on a tangent.
    I can’t quite subscribe to this idea of yours that my accuser must be free of any fault, or to put it in your words “come from a place without question”.  We are all flawed and we should all help each other to improve, no one is completely above any criticism.  And being a flawed individual doesn’t invalidate your criticism if the criticism itself is valid.  So no, I don’t really care what the sins of someone accusing me are, I only care if their accusation is valid and true.  It may rankle me if I view them to be of questionable character, but that’s an emotional reaction and whenever possible we should try to take the emotion out of it and deal with facts.

  2. @Brad Hugh_ Fair point Brad.  But I was referring to the views expressed in the documentary and not the views of the activists outside of this.  It wasn’t an overly relevant point to make anyway, I just go rambling on a tangent.

    I can’t quite subscribe to this idea of yours that my accuser must be free of any fault, or to put it in your words “come from a place without question”.  We are all flawed and we should all help each other to improve, no one is completely above any criticism.  And being a flawed individual doesn’t invalidate your criticism if the criticism itself is valid.  So no, I don’t really care what the sins of someone accusing me are, I only care if their accusation is valid and true.  It may rankle me if I view them to be of questionable character, but that’s an emotional reaction and whenever possible we should try to take the emotion out of it and deal with facts.

  3. @Brad RufusLelevrier Hugh_ Sometimes regulations need to be quite general in order to encompass a wide range of possible transgressions.  I can see that this would be something worth being upset about if it meant that dogs without this training method would never learn to chase, but I have no idea if that’s the case, you haven’t expressed that concern.  I would assume they put a blanket ban on all organic lures to prevent people circumnavigating a live baiting ban by, for example, killing a possum first, and then using it as bait, claiming it was road kill.  Or even killing and one and just using some of it’s body in some way.  Can you distinguish a chunk of possum meat from a piece of store bought chicken?
    Anyhow, the point is it’s a catch all.  And RufusLelevrier’s point is that sports are activities conducted under arbitrary scenarios and rules to a large extent, and what the particular rules are doesn’t necessarily matter, what matters is that the rules allow for competition to take place as intended – in a fair manner that determines a winner somehow.  I agree with that, and so I don’t think it’s something worth getting upset about.

  4. @Brad RufusLelevrier Hugh_ Sometimes regulations need to be quite general in order to encompass a wide range of possible transgressions.  I can see that this would be something worth being upset about if it meant that dogs without this training method would never learn to chase, but I have no idea if that’s the case, you haven’t expressed that concern.  I would assume they put a blanket ban on all organic lures to prevent people circumnavigating a live baiting ban by, for example, killing a possum first, and then using it as bait, claiming it was road kill.  Or even killing and one and just using some of it’s body in some way.  Can you distinguish a chunk of possum meat from a piece of store bought chicken?

    Anyhow, the point is it’s a catch all.  And RufusLelevrier’s point is that sports are activities conducted under arbitrary scenarios and rules to a large extent, and what the particular rules are doesn’t necessarily matter, what matters is that the rules allow for competition to take place as intended – in a fair manner that determines a winner somehow.  I agree with that, and so I don’t think it’s something worth getting upset about.