Seven charged with live baiting by Greyhound Racing Victoria

SEVEN people have been charged by Greyhound Racing Victoria over their involvement in live baiting at the Tooradin Trial Track.

Tooradin, south east of Melbourne, was the scene of the Four Corners program that aired in January. The footage showed racing dogs chasing rabbits, pigs and possums, before tearing them apart.

The charges are the latest of a series of blows for the industry, which has copped a battering since investigations around the country revealed just how widespread live baiting was.

Stewards announced on Friday the 33 charges against seven of the 15 implicated at Tooradin were the “first set of charges”, meaning there is still the threat of further action by GRV.

The people charged with offences contrary to the GRV Local Racing Rules and Greyhounds Australasia Rules are Christopher Connolly, Dennis Dean, Brett Mackie, Darren McDonald, Anthony Mills, Jon Roberts and Eric Sykes.

Greyhound Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board (RADB) will hear and determine the charges for these “serious offences”.

“There has been a need to do a thorough and comprehensive investigation into all matters associated with the alleged activities at the Tooradin Trial Track which is why the investigation has taken the time it has,” GRV Chairman Ray Gunston said.

“Where persons are found to have been involved in this heinous activity, we are determined to ensure the strongest possible penalty is handed down.

“There is absolutely and categorically no place for people within this sport that are proven to have been involved in such barbaric and disgraceful activities that are not befitting of industry and community values.”

The RADB is yet to set a timetable for the hearing and determination of the matters. Investigations by Stewards are continuing into the actions of a further eight suspended persons.

Other people to go in the carnage that followed the live baiting revelations, include the board of Greyhound Racing Victoria and 20 industry figures in Queensland, who have been suspended.

Past Discussion

  1. Taskforce team leader
    Detective Sergeant Tracey Pelling yesterday said it was apparent live baiting
    was entrenched in the industry.
    “I’ve had a trainer
    say to me, ‘put 10 greyhound trainers in a room and say put your hand up if you
    haven’t live baited’,” she said.
    “He said one will put
    their hand up and he’s a liar. That’s from the industry itself.”
    Some of the state’s
    800 trainers “believe they cannot train without using a live bait”, Sgt Pelling
    said.
    Live baiting was so
    standard for some trainers that they discussed the State of Origin and Broncos
    while a bleeding piglet hung on a lure next to them.
    Incredibly, some
    believed roll cages were a humane alternative training tool.
    “They’d put a possum
    in these roll cages and then they’d let the dogs attack the roll cage,” Sgt
    Pelling said.
     “They saw this as more humane because at the
    end of this training they’ll put the possum back in the cage and they’ll feed
    it some food and give it some water and then the next day put it in the roll
    cage.
    “It’s so ingrained in
    them that they go, ‘we didn’t kill it’.”
    Trainers had told
    police that possums were used like this for “sometimes three to four months”.
    “We have people who are millionaires out of this. Don’t think that greyhound
    racing is a poor man’s sport,” Sgt Pelling said.
    “We’ve got situations
    now where we have evidence that a particular trainer takes his children out.
    “One holds the dogs,
    the other goes up the other end and gets the dogs off the piglet. As young as
    11.”
    And police have been
    told it is common for dogs to be shot dead and dumped on properties rather than
    being taken to a vet to be euthanased.

  2. Taskforce team leaderDetective Sergeant Tracey Pelling yesterday said it was apparent live baitingwas entrenched in the industry.

    “I’ve had a trainersay to me, ‘put 10 greyhound trainers in a room and say put your hand up if youhaven’t live baited’,” she said.

    “He said one will puttheir hand up and he’s a liar. That’s from the industry itself.”

    Some of the state’s800 trainers “believe they cannot train without using a live bait”, Sgt Pellingsaid.

    Live baiting was sostandard for some trainers that they discussed the State of Origin and Broncoswhile a bleeding piglet hung on a lure next to them.

    Incredibly, somebelieved roll cages were a humane alternative training tool.

    “They’d put a possumin these roll cages and then they’d let the dogs attack the roll cage,” SgtPelling said.

     “They saw this as more humane because at theend of this training they’ll put the possum back in the cage and they’ll feedit some food and give it some water and then the next day put it in the rollcage.

    “It’s so ingrained inthem that they go, ‘we didn’t kill it’.”

    Trainers had toldpolice that possums were used like this for “sometimes three to four months”.“We have people who are millionaires out of this. Don’t think that greyhoundracing is a poor man’s sport,” Sgt Pelling said.

    “We’ve got situationsnow where we have evidence that a particular trainer takes his children out.

    “One holds the dogs,the other goes up the other end and gets the dogs off the piglet. As young as11.”

    And police have beentold it is common for dogs to be shot dead and dumped on properties rather thanbeing taken to a vet to be euthanased.