ONE of the most amazing examples of the failure of the greyhound hierarchy to deal efficiently and professionally with the vast amount of video evidence collected by the undercover cameras shown on the recent Four Corners exposé has been by not asking for copies of the doubtless hundreds of hours of footage and combing through it to find those going about their business honestly and professionally.
Of course, officials may indeed have requested the footage I mention. Yet, not a word to that effect has emanated from the hallowed halls of officialdom (in this case the GRV) as far as I’m aware. Yet surely this would have been one of the first things to be considered in the aftermath of the damning evidence presented on Australia-wide television.
Greyhound racing is an industry which needs to foster good public relations, yet those at the helm fail time and time again. By public relations I do not mean the ‘spin’ of the kind we see day after day leaking from the offices of politicians of all shades and at all levels. I’m talking about quantifiable, verifiable, irrefutable evidence of people within greyhound racing, obviously the breeders, breakers and trainers, who are engaged in doing the right thing across the board.
Given the amount of footage the undercover cameras managed to catch, it would be interesting to see just how many of the various visitors to the Tooradin Trial Track were shown to have not been engaged in blooding and live baiting.
That evidence surely could be made available to the stewards in Victoria. Those stewards should be able to make identifications of the many trainers who trialled their greyhounds at Tooradin and never looked like being offered a rabbit, pig or possum or asked for one.
In the simple interests of fair play, honesty and transparency, one would hope those caught on camera doing nothing more than training their greyhounds correctly should be named and praised.
Right now, anybody who has ever visited the Tooradin Trial Track at any time is considered suspect. Yet, hopefully, there is plenty of video evidence to show there are plenty of trainers who went there and did nothing more than trial their charges as part of their normal training regime.
The wider community basically now believes every person involved in the breeding, rearing, breaking-in and training of greyhounds to race is involved in some way with blooding or live baiting their charges.
It’s no good for those in charge of the industry to make unsubstantiated claims to camera that most involved are not engaged in live baiting. We need evidence, and I would have thought the video footage from Tooradin could help provide that.
After all, it can’t be that hard to work out how many individuals make regular trips to Tooradin. Let’s say, as a broad argument, 100 individual trainers are regulars at the trial track each week and were captured on the undercover video footage. If the video evidence shows 20 of those engaged, Darren McDonald-style, in the live baiting, then it means 80 weren’t. That’s hard, verifiable evidence of 80 licensed persons who could be reasonably held up as good examples. It also provides at least a starting point for gauging the real extent of live baiting across the code.
While the animal liberationists and their allies may be viewed as the ‘enemy’ by many in the greyhound industry, the true ‘enemy’ lies among us. After all, if those charged with keeping the industry clean and compliant had been doing what they were being paid to do then Four Corners would never have had a story.