THE shockwaves in the industry from the co-ordinated RSPCA-police raids targeting alleged live baiting continue to spread and the raids may be about to net their biggest name yet.
While the ruling body down south, Greyhound Racing Victoria, has stood down 10 participants, it has refused to name them or the offences with which they are to be charged.
Most are believed to have been stood down because of alleged activities at the Tooradin Trial Track, an establishment run by Stuart Mills which has had its registration suspended.
Tooradin Trial Track is a family-run operation, with the Mills name synonymous with greyhound racing in Victoria. Stuart Mills’ father Tony was the 2013 winner of the Ken Carr Medal, the highest award for excellence within the Victorian greyhound industry.
Stuart Mills refused to comment on the allegations on Sunday, neither confirming nor denying he was one of those stood down.
CEO of Greyhound Racing Victoria Adam Wallish said in a letter addressed to participants at the weekend that the organisation had no tolerance for people who chose to engage in live-baiting activities.
“It is extremely disappointing that there are still people in this sport that appear to partake in this practice or are complicit in its continuation,” he said.
“GRV has been very clear that community standards regarding the treatment of animals have changed significantly over the years and it is disappointing that some in this sport have not moved with the times.”
In other developments:
The taskforce is also set to identify whether GRNSW and all relevant agencies have the power to properly investigate claims of animal welfare breaches and cruelty themselves and to ensure GRNSW is fulfilling its duties in regards to welfare and integrity.
The live-baiting furore comes as the ABC’s Four Corners is to on Monday night broadcast an episode entitled “Making A Killing”, which it says exposes the dark underbelly of the sport and will change it forever.
Wallish’s letter cautioned participants the Four Corners program would be hard hitting and potentially upsetting for some members of the greyhound racing fraternity.
“Make no mistake, this story will be explosive, emotive and extremely damaging to the future of this sport in Australia,” he wrote.
“As a group of people that love the greyhound breed we should all be shocked and outraged by the allegations in the story and prepared to fight the small minority that continue to partake in such practices jeopardising the future of the sport and indeed the future of the breed itself.
“You will be emotional, you might be angry. Don’t be angry at those that attack us, regardless of their position. Be angry at those within the sport that are doing the wrong thing and undermining the values for which we stand.”
Last week, police and RSPCA officials raided properties in NSW, Queensland and Victoria, with seven industry participants immediately stood down in Queensland, six in NSW and 10 in Victoria.