THERE are growing calls from within the greyhound industry for a trainer, caught on video using a cattle prod to shock one of his dogs, to be named and shamed after harrowing vision of the incident surfaced on Friday night.
The video, recorded on a mobile phone camera, shows a trainer at The Gardens greyhound track shocking his greyhound with the cattle prod as the lure approached the boxes.
Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) announced on Friday the incident, which happened in 2012, had been independently investigated and preliminary findings had been handed over to the NSW Police Force.
Later that night the ABC released the mobile phone vision.
GRNSW have advised that the cattle prod allegedly used in the video appears to be a Parmak ‘Stock Master’ which is capable of emitting 6,000 volts of shock.
While GRNSW have not named anyone, interim CEO Paul Newson said the individual had been identified, with findings of the independent investigation including the forensic analysis of the video footage and witness interviews handed over to the authorities.
“Given the atrocious nature of the conduct depicted in the video, I have referred the preliminary findings, along with the video footage, to the NSW Police Force to examine whether criminal charges can be laid against those involved,” Newson said.
“While the NSW Police Force is considering the findings and video footage, I have instructed the independent investigators GRNSW had engaged to suspend their inquiries so as to ensure that GRNSW does not prejudice any police investigation.
“While the video footage was taken well before my appointment as interim CEO, it is disheartening to have uncovered another example of greyhound racing industry participants engaging in a serious act of animal cruelty.”
It is not yet known whether the footage was handed into GRNSW straight after the incident or more recently. Despite occurring four years ago, Newson said it was essential that the individual involved is brought to justice.
“Although this is footage taken well before the greyhound industry reform process started in February 2015, participants should be aware that GRNSW as regulator, will transparently and decisively target serious wrongdoing with escalating enforcement action, including referral to appropriate law enforcement agencies for potential criminal prosecution, to hold the industry to account.
“The public need to have trust in us as the regulator that we will be doing everything we can to protect the welfare of greyhound, secure the integrity of the industry and ensure individuals involved in animal cruelty or other serious misconduct incur serious consequences.
“However, GRNSW’s actions in relation to this matter are indicative of a change toward a more proactive and responsive approach from the greyhound racing industry, demonstrate GRNSW’s Industry Supervision Strategy in practise and affirm GRNSW as a modern, capable and effective regulator.”
Australian Racing Greyhound has attempted to contact several staff members of The Gardens as well as the now defunct National Coursing Association (NCA), which was the body operating the track at the time, to confirm details of the incident, however no comments were forthcoming.