News wrap: Newson says animal cruelty will be stamped out

THE stand-in CEO of Greyhound Racing New South Wales, Paul Newson, has received an interim report from Deputy Police Commissioner Dave Madden into claims that greyhounds had been shot in the head for $50 and dumped into a pit at a property in the Hunter Valley.

Newson said the matter will now be passed onto NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Mark Jenkins and the RSPCA, while he would also be handing over Madden’s report to the Special Commission of Inquiry which has been established to address issues of animal cruelty and integrity within the sport in the state.

The current owner of the Hunter Valley property in question, who purchased the site just prior to the discovery of the graves, declined to comment to Australian Racing Greyhound but told The Maitland Mercury skulls had been found buried just 10cm below the surface, with one skull said to have still had fur on it.

The property owner said both the RSPCA and Greyhound Racing NSW had visited the burial site and had conducted investigations.

“Within 10 to 15 minutes they walked on the property and found the first mass grave site,” the property owner said.

“I had no idea, it was so overwhelming.”

Newson, who stepped into the hot seat at GRNSW when Brent Hogan resigned, has now asked for anyone who has evidence of animal welfare concerns within the greyhound racing industry to contact the Greyhound Welfare and Integrity Hotline to enable a full investigation into any claims. His calls for information come after a mass grave was found near Bundaberg, Queensland, last week which is believed to contain the carcasses of at least 55 greyhounds.

“The discovery near Bundaberg last week was deeply concerning and I would urge anyone who believes there are similar cases in NSW to contact the Greyhound Welfare and Integrity Hotline immediately to ensure the mis-treatment of animals can be eradicated from the sport of greyhound racing for good,” Newson said.

“If any evidence of mass graves emerges in NSW, GRNSW will cooperate fully with the NSW Police and RSPCA NSW to ensure the matter can be properly investigated and individuals found to have been involved in animal cruelty are held accountable.”

Another mass grave site was discovered in Victoria in 2009 but, despite the Victorian RSPCA being called in to investigate, they were unable to proceed further with the case as a lack of evidence prevented them from establishing the cause of death of the greyhounds.

The treatment of animals in the greyhound industry has come under fire recently following on from the ABC’s Four Corners program titled ‘Making A Killing’, which exposed the practice of live-baiting within the sport.

Shortly after it was aired in February, the NSW Government announced the formation of a Special Commision of Inquiry last month to investigate issues of animal welfare and integrity within the sport.

Jenny Hunt hearing to be held at the end of April

Leading trainer Jenny Hunt will appear before the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board (RADB) on April 29 after her greyhound, Jubilea Bale, returned a positive swab sample at Warragul on January 17, 2015.

The swab was analysed by Racing Analytical Services Limited (RASL) and was found to contain the presence of permanently banned substances amphetamine, methamphetamine and its metabolites.

Jubilea Bale was then scratched from her engagement at Sandown Park on February 5, 2015, by order of stewards after they were notified of the swab irregularity. At that time,  the reserve and control samples had not been tested, while it was said that Jubilea Bale would be unable to compete until she returned a sample that did not breach Greyhounds Australasia rules.

The daughter of Collision and Nelly Bale has not raced since, with Hunt facing the Board for a breach of GAR83(2)(3) which reads:

  1. The owner, trainer or person in charge of a greyhound-
    1. (a)  nominated to compete in an Event;
    2. (b)  presented for a satisfactory, weight or whelping trial or such other trial as provided for pursuant to these Rules; or
    3. (c)  presented for any test or examination for the purpose of a period of incapacitation or prohibition being varied or revoked

    shall present the greyhound free of any prohibited substance.

  2. (3) The owner, trainer or person in charge of a greyhound presented contrary to sub-rule (2) shall be guilty of an offence.

Hunt is the daughter-in-law of former champion trainer Graeme Bate and took over the training of his large team of greyhounds when he was disqualified for a period of three years over a range of offences relating to prohibited substances.

One of Hunt’s greyhounds, Dawkins Bale, ran second in the Group 1 Golden Easter Egg on Saturday night, picking up $62,500 for connections.

Glen Canty, GRV’s general manager of integrity, racing and welfare has previously told Australian Racing Greyhound that the authority body would not tolerate any rule breaches in relation to prohibited substances.

“GRV has stated on many occasions that it has a zero-tolerance attitude to the use of drugs in our sport to affect the performance of greyhounds,” he said.

Pop The Cork set for racetrack return

Pop The Cork, one of the greyhounds implicated by the live-baiting scandal, will make his racetrack return at Albion Park this Thursday night.

Formerly trained by Reg Kay who has been issued a lifetime ban for his involvement in the fiasco, Pop The Cork is now under the care of Peter Ruetschi and will jump from box five in the first race over 520-metres.

The son of Brett Lee and Ima Geisha Girl has had three stewards trials, with his most recent being a slick 30.12 trial at Albion Park on Sunday.

Pop The Cork set tongues wagging in his only two starts to date, winning his heat and semi-final of the Group 2 Vince Curry Memorial Maiden at Ipswich in 30.34 and 30.16 respectively. He was then removed from the final after Kay was suspended by Racing Queensland.

Maitland Gold Cup attracts eight heats

Eight heats of the Group 2 Maitland Gold Cup will be run at the Hunter Valley circuit this Friday night over the 450-metre trip. Notable nominations for the series include Winsome Mission (heat two – box four),  Spacecraft (heat six – box three), the unbeaten Black Frenzy (heat seven – box six), Race A Chaser syndication’s Megan Keeping (heat eight – box one) and boom sprinter Winsome Prince (heat eight – box three).

Each heat winner will progress through to the following Friday’s final which is worth $40,000-to-the-winner.

Past Discussion

  1. @Razzler DaveSampson Here you go – important point to note in story. GRNSW first visited the site in February 2014. A subsequent investigation was held by GRNSW in 2015 by  former NSW Police deputy commissioner David Madden which clearly shows it was only re-opened due to the live baiting scandal and that had that not broke, this story would never have seen the light of day.

    http://www.maitlandmercury.com.au/story/2994813/police-investigate-mass-hunter-valley-greyhound-grave-site/

  2. Lets talk about what this article doesn’t mention. The owner of the property was told byGRNSW when they investigated that they would be back to excavate the site. This was last year. They never came back. So the question needs to be asked, who called off the investigation. What were the reasons? Why are they even looking at it now if they don’t believe it was worth looking at when they KNEW of this mass burial site? More incompetence from GRNSW.
    And in other news … why should the public have any trust when even now you have trainers who’s dogs are returning positive swabs, yet their other dogs are still running in the big races. Oh no we are completely clean, its just the tiny minority cry the greyhound community. Yet you’ve got live baiting, mass graves, you have trainers banned for drugs, you have relatives of these trainers also banned for drugging dogs ….. but no, lets just pretend none of this is happening.

  3. Lets talk about what this article doesn’t mention. The owner of the property was told byGRNSW when they investigated that they would be back to excavate the site. This was last year. They never came back. So the question needs to be asked, who called off the investigation. What were the reasons? Why are they even looking at it now if they don’t believe it was worth looking at when they KNEW of this mass burial site? More incompetence from GRNSW.

    And in other news … why should the public have any trust when even now you have trainers who’s dogs are returning positive swabs, yet their other dogs are still running in the big races. Oh no we are completely clean, its just the tiny minority cry the greyhound community. Yet you’ve got live baiting, mass graves, you have trainers banned for drugs, you have relatives of these trainers also banned for drugging dogs ….. but no, lets just pretend none of this is happening.

  4. “With the greyhound problem at the moment – they have substantial problems. We believe it’s not broken, and it doesn’t need ‘fixing’.” – Peter V’Landys, Chief Executive of Racing NSW – 7th April 2015
    And here we are ladies and gentlemen. Even at the very top they are in complete denial with the mess they are in and the anger the general public feel about this issue.

  5. With the greyhound problem at the moment – they have substantial problems. We believe it’s not broken, and it doesn’t need ‘fixing’.” – Peter V’Landys, Chief Executive of Racing NSW – 7th April 2015

    And here we are ladies and gentlemen. Even at the very top they are in complete denial with the mess they are in and the anger the general public feel about this issue. 

  6. DaveSampson Is there somewhere I can access more information about the investigation into this site and its excavation?
    Thanks

  7. @Razzler DaveSampson Here you go – important point to note in story. GRNSW first visited the site in February 2014. A subsequent investigation was held by GRNSW in 2015 by  former NSW Police deputy commissioner David Madden which clearly shows it was only re-opened due to the live baiting scandal and that had that not broke, this story would never have seen the light of day.

    http://www.maitlandmercury.com.au/story/2994813/police-investigate-mass-hunter-valley-greyhound-grave-site/

  8. If they could not be even more clueless. 

    a) 75K is nothing
    b) How about awaiting the recommendations of the the Inquiry

    See below

    (GRNSW) are calling for submissions from qualified organisations and/or individuals for a project proposal focusing on identifying the best practice methods in the areas of rearing, socialisation, education and training of greyhounds.

    The project has a total budget of $75,000 and will review current methods as well as looking at new ways of training greyhounds, with a focus on alternatives to live baiting.
    The submissions are being called for after the NSW Government announced the establishment of a Special Commission of Inquiry into Greyhound Racing on March 4, 2015, in the wake of the recent live-baiting scandal. GRNSW are now working on rebuilding the reputation of the greyhound racing industry, with the aim of the upcoming project being to develop and support a sustainable and successful industry moving forward.

  9. If they could not be even more clueless. 

    a) 75K is nothing

    b) How about awaiting the recommendations of the the Inquiry

    See below


    (GRNSW) are calling for submissions from qualified organisations and/or individuals for a project proposal focusing on identifying the best practice methods in the areas of rearing, socialisation, education and training of greyhounds.


    The project has a total budget of ,000 and will review current methods as well as looking at new ways of training greyhounds, with a focus on alternatives to live baiting.

    The submissions are being called for after the NSW Government announced the establishment of a Special Commission of Inquiry into Greyhound Racing on March 4, 2015, in the wake of the recent live-baiting scandal. GRNSW are now working on rebuilding the reputation of the greyhound racing industry, with the aim of the upcoming project being to develop and support a sustainable and successful industry moving forward.



  10. DaveSampson 
    u are spot on dave. this industry is so tainted it needs a deep insight outside of those who run it. a bloody joke asking the regulatory bodies like GRV in VICTORIA, get asked simple questions about libe baiting,drugs, and so on, and categorically deny anything like it existed, or the first they ever heard of it.
    something is wrong when silence does more damage than action. and by that I mean the public are forming there own opinions, and the longer you stay silent and hope it will go away, the worse it is for the industry.
    everything you said is straight and true. family members and girl friends and boyfriends taking over the reins, and disqualified trainers outed for drugs abuse, sneaking back in the place they are banned from, and still checking dogs of registered trainers who if caught, face disqualification themselves. and who is responsible for that? GRV. and who do they blame for the current mess? the members. what a joke this industry is, and always has been since the division of the old NCA into GA & GRV in this state.
    good luck to them holding there heads above water.

  11. DaveSampson 

    u are spot on dave. this industry is so tainted it needs a deep insight outside of those who run it. a bloody joke asking the regulatory bodies like GRV in VICTORIA, get asked simple questions about libe baiting,drugs, and so on, and categorically deny anything like it existed, or the first they ever heard of it.

    something is wrong when silence does more damage than action. and by that I mean the public are forming there own opinions, and the longer you stay silent and hope it will go away, the worse it is for the industry.

    everything you said is straight and true. family members and girl friends and boyfriends taking over the reins, and disqualified trainers outed for drugs abuse, sneaking back in the place they are banned from, and still checking dogs of registered trainers who if caught, face disqualification themselves. and who is responsible for that? GRV. and who do they blame for the current mess? the members. what a joke this industry is, and always has been since the division of the old NCA into GA & GRV in this state.

    good luck to them holding there heads above water.

  12. DaveSampson  If you look at the stewards report from February about Simon Green, the guy that shot his dogs, the only comments were about money and up-coming races. The shooting didn’t even raise an eyebrow. That made me realise that they simply don’t care.

  13. DaveSampson  If you look at the stewards report from February about Simon Green, the guy that shot his dogs, the only comments were about money and up-coming races. The shooting didn’t even raise an eyebrow. That made me realise that they simply don’t care.