Live baiting saga: Zipping Willow & Zipping Saxon suspended

ZIPPING Willow and Zipping Saxon have both been suspended from racing by Greyhound Racing New South Wales (GRNSW) as a follow on from the live-baiting saga.

The two star NSW sprinters, which are owned by leading breeder Martin Hallinan, were being prepared by Darren McDonald in the week leading up to his infamous suspension from the sport and have since returned to the kennel of their original trainer, Jason Mackay.

Zipping Saxon was set to start in Saturday’s heats of the Group 2 Richmond Derby before GRNSW confirmed on Friday that he and Zipping Willow are two of the six most recent suspensions within the state. The other greyhounds affected by the latest suspensions are Awesome Project, Zipping Spike, Keybow and Tiggerlong Amigo, all of which are owned in NSW but were being prepared by McDonald when he was stood down.

It is horrendous timing for these suspensions, with Zipping Willow being primed for the Group 1 Golden Easter Egg series at Wentworth Park, which commences in two week’s time.

Greyhound Racing New South Wales also advised Australian Racing Greyhound on Friday that a total of 36 named greyhounds have now been suspended from racing. These dogs are also unable to be sold or transferred into the care or custody of another person or trainer. The figure indicated by GRNSW on Friday was higher than the number released on Monday, which confirmed that 28 named greyhounds had been stood down from competing.

The greyhounds have been stood down following the live-baiting scandal, with all of the suspended dogs having been associated with at least one of the suspended trainers from across Australia.

There is also an unknown number of unnamed pups which have been suspended by GRNSW, with Greg Board confirming to AustralianRacingGreyhound.com last Saturday that he has two pups which are now suspended following a raid on the property of suspended person Zeke Kadir, who operates the popular break-in facility, Wilshire Park. Since then, Martin Hallinan has confirmed to the ABC that he also had young greyhounds broken-in at Kadir’s property, which have now been stood down by GRNSW.

IN FURTHER news, GRNSW announced the details of their new Animal Welfare and Integrity Hotline on Thursday, which has been launched as a service to encourage participants and the public to report any concerns they may hold about improper conduct within the greyhound racing industry.

The hotline is now available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is available for people to lodge concerns both via phone or an email form.

People can lodge a concern with the greyhound welfare and integrity hotline by calling 1800 680 174 or by visiting www.greyhoundwelfare.com.au.

The concerns brought forward through the hotline will be collected by Service NSW, which was set up in 2013 by the State Government to make it easier for residents and businesses within NSW to transact with the government. The concerns will then be handed to the Special Commission of Inquiry into greyhound racing in NSW, which will be lead by the Hon. Michael McHugh, as well as the relevant regulatory authority for further investigation.

Interim CEO of GRNSW, Paul Newson, has encouraged those with concerns regarding either animal welfare or integrity within the sport to contact the hotline and lodge their concerns.

“GRNSW is taking a proactive approach to animal welfare and integrity matters to ensure individuals involved in shameful acts such as live baiting are held to account and such abhorrent mistreatment of animals is eradicated from the sport for good,” Mr Newson said.

“I see the hotline as an important step in improving awareness of suspected misconduct in the industry and establishing a greater focus on intelligence led investigations while striving to restore public confidence in the oversight of greyhound racing.

“The dedicated hotline is an important measure that signals improved accountability and affirms animal welfare and integrity are the principal focus of GRNSW going forward.”

IN QUEENSLAND and the Queensland All Codes Racing Industry Board (Racing Queensland) released information on Thursday of two further measures adopted in the wake of the live-baiting scandal – a moratorium on the transfer of greyhound ownership, as well as new rule changes as a part of their Animal Welfare policy.

The moratorium imposed will see a temporary ban on the transfer of ownership, registration or lease of any greyhound within Queensland effective immediately. As a result, no sale or lease of any greyhound will be processed by Racing Queensland during this period. Participants can make an application to [email protected] if they feel that they have extenuating circumstances.

The Queensland All Codes Racing Industry Board has also developed the ‘Greyhound Training and Racing Policy’, which came into effect on Monday, March 2, 2015.

The purpose of the policy is to ensure that no greyhound or registered participant engages in training activities which are cruel to any animals and to protect those greyhounds reasonably suspected of having been involved in live baiting, or which have been trained by a person found guilty of live baiting offences.

As a result, changes have been made to some Greyhounds Australasia Rules and Local Rules, which are effective immediately. These are as follows:

LR34A Declaration of trainer

(1) When nominating a greyhound for a qualifying trial or event, a trainer must submit a statutory declaration in the form prescribed by Racing Queensland, declaring that the trainer has not participated and will not participate in an act of animal cruelty or any other activities that would be unlawful (declaration of training propriety).

(2) If a trainer fails to provide the declaration of training propriety without reasonable excuse:

a. The trainer must not nominate, or attempt to nominate, the greyhound for any qualifying trial or event; and
b. The greyhound may be declared disqualified from the qualifying trial or event.

LR50B Disqualification for improper use of animal

If:

(a) a greyhound has been trained in contravention of Local Rule 50A; or

(b) an animal has otherwise been used for a purpose connected with the training, trialling or racing of a greyhound in a manner which is improper,

then:

(c) a person must not nominate, or attempt to nominate, the greyhound for any qualifying trial or event; and Racing Queensland or the Stewards may:

i. disqualify the greyhound from participating in any qualifying trial or event indefinitely; and

ii. cancel the registration of the greyhound.

LR50C Suspension for improper use of animal

(1) If Racing Queensland reasonably suspects that:

(a) a greyhound has been trained in contravention of Local Rule 50A; or

(b) an animal has otherwise been used for a purpose connected with the training, trialling or racing of a greyhound in a manner which is improper,

Racing Queensland may by notice to the owner and trainer of the greyhound suspend the greyhound from participating in any qualifying trial or Event for the period determined in accordance with sub-rule (2).

(2) The period of suspension under sub-rule (1) shall be until the greyhound completes to the satisfaction of the Stewards the number of trials (being a minimum of 3) as determined by the Stewards. The trials shall be held over a period of not less than 3 weeks, with a minimum of 3 clear days between each trial, on the conditions determined by the Stewards, and subject to any additional periods of suspension and conditions arising under sub-rule (3);

(3) If a greyhound during any trial undertaken pursuant to sub-rule (2) contravenes Greyhounds Australasia Rule R69 (Marring), R69A (Failing to pursue), R71 (Unsatisfactory performance) or R71A (Unsatisfactory behaviour), then the periods of suspension and conditions set out under those rules shall apply in addition to the requirements in sub-rule (2).

(4) To remove any doubt, and without limitation, it will be reasonable for Racing Queensland to suspect that:

a greyhound has been trained in contravention of Local Rule 50A; or

b. an animal has otherwise been used for a purpose connected with the training, trialling or racing of a greyhound in a manner which is improper,

if the greyhound was under the care of a person at a time when the person:

c. contravened Local Rule 50A; or

d. committed an offence under GAR Rule 86(af).

Past Discussion

  1. Just because the trainer is involved. .why can they suspend a dog without proof that, that particular dog was baited..not every dog needs it.

  2. Just because the trainer is involved. .why can they suspend a dog without proof that, that particular dog was baited..not every dog needs it.

  3. This is an absolute discgrace! How can they suspend these dogs and punish owners with out proof. . . Also how were awesome project and zipping willow allowed to start in temlee, then transfered to another trainer and now suspended. Greyhound racing will be destroyed by legal action against them by owners not by the animal activists.

  4. This is an absolute discgrace! How can they suspend these dogs and punish owners with out proof. . . Also how were awesome project and zipping willow allowed to start in temlee, then transfered to another trainer and now suspended. Greyhound racing will be destroyed by legal action against them by owners not by the animal activists.

  5. I feel for the owners they send these dogs to the so called top trainers to race on their behalf, just suspend the trainers and be done with it , it’s not that hard to sort out surely

  6. I feel for the owners they send these dogs to the so called top trainers to race on their behalf, just suspend the trainers and be done with it , it’s not that hard to sort out surely

  7. The hotline will be abused to the hilt by anti racing protesters logging in thousands of hours of calls naming every trainer in the state, in the hope of finally banning every single trainer and bringing the industry to a halt. Yep, this is what they want :-p Whose harebrained idea was it to come up with a hotline?

  8. The hotline will be abused to the hilt by anti racing protesters logging in thousands of hours of calls naming every trainer in the state, in the hope of finally banning every single trainer and bringing the industry to a halt. Yep, this is what they want :-p Whose harebrained idea was it to come up with a hotline?

  9. If they want to kill the dog game completely. .the so called do gooders better start looking for a real job because the revenue the racing industry makes for the government won’t be there to pay for the dole bludgers.

  10. If they want to kill the dog game completely. .the so called do gooders better start looking for a real job because the revenue the racing industry makes for the government won’t be there to pay for the dole bludgers.

  11. I must be missing something here.
    So a dog can be “doped”, and if testing reveals a substance was evident, you can carry earning until the hearing or get a stay of proceedings and drag it out, but with this, it’s guilt by heresay or guilt by association! Seriously?!?!
    Time to stop reacting for those that will NEVER have a good thing to say about racing!

  12. I must be missing something here. So a dog can be “doped”, and if testing reveals a substance was evident, you can carry earning until the hearing or get a stay of proceedings and drag it out, but with this, it’s guilt by heresay or guilt by association! Seriously?!?!Time to stop reacting for those that will NEVER have a good thing to say about racing!

  13. There is a truism which states “What a wise man does in the beginning a fool has to do in the end” I think this applies to Qld they seem desperate to protect their control board at all costs while in NSW the action to hone the responsibility to the top (sacking the board and standing down the CEO) and appointing a retired high court judge to head a task force with powers of a royal commission is the action of a “wise man”.

  14. There is a truism which states “What a wise man does in the beginning a fool has to do in the end” I think this applies to Qld they seem desperate to protect their control board at all costs while in NSW the action to hone the responsibility to the top (sacking the board and standing down the CEO) and appointing a retired high court judge to head a task force with powers of a royal commission is the action of a “wise man”. 

  15. Unlikely.  That would only hinder investigators by sending them on numerous wild goose chases.  People who want the sport cleaned up want those who have kept silent due to intimidation to be able to contact the authorities.  What they don’t want is genuine calls being lost in a sea of fake ones.  If you were more concerned with actually cleaning up your own sport instead of being paranoid about animal activists maybe you’d realise that this hotline ins a step in the right direction.
    But I suppose if you cared about cleaning up your own sport you wouldn’t be in this situation to begin with.  You turned a blind eye, now deal with the consequences.  Suck it up.
    Also, be thankful this is coming out now and not in another decades time when the public is even more sensitive to animal welfare.  As it is, your sport will survive and public confidence will hopefully be restored.

  16. Unlikely.  That would only hinder investigators by sending them on numerous wild goose chases.  People who want the sport cleaned up want those who have kept silent due to intimidation to be able to contact the authorities.  What they don’t want is genuine calls being lost in a sea of fake ones.  If you were more concerned with actually cleaning up your own sport instead of being paranoid about animal activists maybe you’d realise that this hotline ins a step in the right direction.

    But I suppose if you cared about cleaning up your own sport you wouldn’t be in this situation to begin with.  You turned a blind eye, now deal with the consequences.  Suck it up.

    Also, be thankful this is coming out now and not in another decades time when the public is even more sensitive to animal welfare.  As it is, your sport will survive and public confidence will hopefully be restored.

  17. Those “idiots” at AA exposed a problem that you all failed to fix with your woefully inadequate self regulation and willingness to turn a blind eye to what was commonly rumoured for decades.  Stop pointing an angry finger at everyone else and take some responsibility.

  18. Those “idiots” at AA exposed a problem that you all failed to fix with your woefully inadequate self regulation and willingness to turn a blind eye to what was commonly rumoured for decades.  Stop pointing an angry finger at everyone else and take some responsibility.