Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) has charged four greyhound racing participants with breaches of the GRNSW Greyhound Racing Rules as part of the ongoing Inquiry into the Unauthorised Exports of Greyhounds (Inquiry), including to jurisdictions that are not fully compliant with Australian animal welfare standards, such as China, Macau and Dubai.
The persons charged include greyhound racing participants Peter Lagogiane, James Cortis and Bradley Eberand, who are charged with facilitating the export of registered greyhound Wandering Mija without a greyhound passport, an action which was negligent, improper or constitutes misconduct.
The fourth person charged is GRNSW Board member Michael Eberand, who is charged with aiding or abetting, and facilitating, the export of registered greyhound Wandering Mija to Dubai without a greyhound passport issued by Greyhounds Australasia.
Wandering Mija was the subject of previous charges laid against industry participants Stephen, Mark and Donna Farrugia in November 2016, based on evidence that the greyhound had been exported to China or Macau.
At a hearing on 30 March 2017, Stephen and Mark Farrugia entered guilty pleas in relation to those charges. Notwithstanding those guilty pleas, further investigations undertaken by the Inquiry have uncovered evidence that Wandering Mija was in fact exported by the Farrugias to Dubai. It was the emergence of this new evidence which led to the charges against these four participants.
Mr Eberand joined the Board of GRNSW in July 2017, but did not disclose any actual or potential conflict in relation to the ongoing inquiry or his alleged involvement with the greyhound or the Farrugia family.
The participants will have an opportunity to respond to the charges at a hearing, scheduled to take place later this month.
GRNSW intends to make no further comment about the charges until a determination is reached.
NSW Minister for Racing Paul Toole is yet to make a decision on whether to stand Eberand down from the GRNSW Board.
The new revelations come just weeks after New South Wales most successful owner and breeder Paul Wheeler was found guilty of facilitating illegal exports and was fined $22,000 and disqualified for six months.