THE current owners of the Keinbah Trial Track, Robert and Natina Howard, have expressed a sense of relief after it was announced on Wednesday an independent investigation into allegations of a mass grave on the property had been finalised.
Led by Clive Steirn SC, the investigation found at least 99 greyhounds had been killed and buried on the site between 2009 and 2013, prior to the property being purchased by the Howards.
Rumours of a mass grave at Keinbah led to two investigations by Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) in 2014 and 2015, neither of which found evidence of a mass grave at the property.
However, last year greyhound remains were discovered when equipment, which was being used for fencing at the time, sunk into the ground and revealed a number of bones.
Following the discovery, GRNSW appointed Mr Steirn SC to head an independent investigation into the matter.
“It is with some relief that the investigation into the Keinbah Trial Track has been released today,” the Howards said in a media release.
“Over the last year the industry has embrace(d) change. Nothing matters more to us that tham the welfare of our dogs and the Integrity of our industry.
“We have not been issued with the final investigation report so there’s nothing we can comment on any further on this matter.
“But we would like to say stop blaming the 95% of the industry for the government’s failings.”
GRNSW is yet to make the report from the investigation available to the public, announcing in a statement the case had been handed to law enforcement and prosecutorial agencies to determine whether the report discloses any criminal offences.
Also speaking out on the Keinbah case was Brenton Scott, the CEO of the NSW Greyhound Breeders Owners and Trainers Association (GBOTA). Scott stated that although the findings of the investigation were saddening, the industry is committed to reform.
“The findings are a great disappointment and confirm that the greyhound industry has had issues that must be, and are being, confronted,” Scott said.
“The death of any greyhound, without proper reason, is unacceptable and the industry must continue to maintain a position of zero tolerance. Any position less than this is part of our past, it is not part of our future.
“The Keinbah investigation does reinforce the industry’s commitment to total accountability during the past 18 months.
“The independent investigation released today represents the third inquiry, each of which materialised as a result of greyhound racing participant complaints. This commitment to the investigation reinforces a level of openness and transparency which is critical to the change journey the industry is on.
“The greyhound racing industry has changed and will continue to change to absolutely ensure all participants act in a manner that meets community expectations in relation to the welfare of animals.”