Police, RSPCA raids in NSW, Victoria, Queensland stun industry
THE greyhound industry has been stunned by raids by police and RSPCA officials in NSW, Victoria and Queensland in the past few days, targeting training and breaking-in establishments.
Allegations have emerged of live-baiting practices, with the raids following revelations by investigative program Four Corners. The ABC show is understood to have captured damning footage which is set to air on Monday night in an episode entitled Making A Killing.
A promo for the show says it is “a gritty investigation into the darkest secrets of the sport, exposing the gruesome underbelly of greyhound racing” and what it has uncovered threatens to change the sport forever.
It is another potential black eye for an industry reeling from recent suspensions to leading trainers and positive drug tests for substances including meth.
In the aftermath of the raids:
Both GRV and the RSPCA are conducting full investigations into the alleged activity.
GRV's CEO Adam Wallish said in a statement the organisation does not condone the activity of live-baiting.
“The use of live bait in the training of greyhounds is disgusting and has no place in our sport,” he said. “Any person engaged in live baiting can expect to be disqualified and prosecuted. We have zero tolerance for these individuals.
“GRV takes matters of animal cruelty extremely seriously. Allegations of live-baiting are extremely disappointing and GRV supports the RSPCA and Victoria Police's efforts to investigate any wrongdoing within the sport of greyhound racing.”
He added that if found guilty, those under investigation could face some serious charges.
“In accordance with GRV's Animal Welfare Penalty Guidelines those responsible face a 10-year ban from the sport,” he said. “Live baiting is also a criminal offence punishable under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 (POCTA) and can attract a jail term of up to two years and a fine of more than $30,000.”
The Four Corners footage is understood to include people caught on hidden cameras engaging in the outlawed practice.
It is not the first time the sport has been put under the blowtorch by the ABC. In October 2013 the 7:30 Report attempted to tear down the industry, suggesting that it is rife with doping, corruption and animal welfare issues.
Similar raids were conducted on Hunter Valley properties around the same time of the controversial report, however these failed to find evidence of any wrongdoing by targeted greyhound participants.
GRNSW's decision to stand down five participants was made due to the seriousness of the allegations and follows raids by RSPCA NSW and police in the Londonderry area. NSW chief steward Clint Bentley said in a statement: “While the investigations are only beginning, the allegations are of such a serious nature that we felt it imperative to suspend the five participants immediately.”
Licensed trainer John O'Brien was also stood down with immediate effect following a property inspection by GRNSW, after eight live European rabbits were allegedly found on his Congewai property.
Weed out the bad ones glenny and make it better for our dogs
Good!! Live baiting is a illegal and horrible!! Harry
Mel Callaway Geoff Mills
AnimalAbusers Pinkandwild Cruel practices in this industry mean penalties against racetracks and humans involved need to be much harsher!
AnimalAbusers The are pretending they are stunned.i They have turned a blind eye for 80 years about this heinous practice
Thats because you people are mongrel bastards.
RSPCA you will never get another cent from me.you are a joke
I wish us hounds were no so friendly so we could bite the balls off these cruel evil people who do that.
Roman G Hound
Lucky us hounds make good pets when we retire otherwise we would bite the balls off these cruel and evil people
seven greyhound trainers in Queensland, name them to protect the innocent, not saying the 7 are guilty but every trainer is now under suspicion, not fair to them
The industry is a joke..top trainer getting only 3 years for continued offences ..people back training after swapping stud dogs .. Drug offences getting 1 year.. Trainer getting multi steroid positives racing while fighting it..it goes on and on..why not just get rid of these people ? Are they that important to the industry?
Its been going on for decades RSPCA have known about it but still sit on their asses and do nothing anyway until publicity kicks in then they ask for donations They are a bloody joke
First job when i left school in 1977 was to work at a greyhound training kennels at Mallala, SA – The dogs there were regularly given BEX and other medications before they raced. Some of these meds were bought from the local shop which my parents owned and operated! The trainer even offered ‘sure bets’ when he would come in – the industry was rigged then – so what’s new? I lasted one month at that job and glad to go back to school. The industry is cruel – these dogs are the most lovely natured and their soft compliant… Read more »
KE. This item has been too long a taboo subject. The Mechanical Hare racing was introduced to aid the demise of live hare racing and associated blood sports. As stated there are mechanical systems that can be used to train greyhounds if necessary on chasing lures and these should be developed and used. If you look at GRNSW Code of Practice on the Welfare of Greyhounds it mentions that the Greyhound people need to comply to the various prevention of cruelty to animals acts and regulation but nowhere does it flesh out the fact that there are criminal acts in… Read more »
It is impossible for top trainers to be live baiting and for the regulator not to have an awareness of the practice. Good on Four Corners for exposing this digusting practice so that the industry has to at least admit the problem exists.
If GRV has any guts at all it should be pushing for amendment of the Racing Act 1958 (Vic) so that in conjuction with the Confiscation Act 1997 (Vic) all property associated with the commision of the crime and all property including prize money can be seized from anyone found guilty of live baiting.
BernieHenneken Bernie agree with your thrust only would say highly improbable rather than impossible. Victoria uses top trainers at times as paid consultants giving advice. If advice has been a fraud then the provisions of the Vic Racing Act 1958 where the greyhound board can sue or be sued in its own right might lead to a situation of industry recovery for damages. Also officials are not necessarily out of the woods when it comes to being sued themselves.
Realise that at this stage matters involved are only allegations.
BernieHenneken Bernie agree with your thrust. Also Top trainer in Victoria are from time to time paid consultants to give advice to the board. if advice has been a fraud then it is possible that actions can be taken under the sue and be sued provisions of the Vic Racing Act 1958.Also the board and other staff nd consultants are not necessarily out of the woods over damage claims themselves if allegations are proved.
I would hang my head in shame if i was anyway involved in the animal racing industry in particular grey hound racing and what has come to light. what i witnessed on fb this morning has sickened and saddened me. the live baiting practice had to be common knowledge throughout the industry although not a practice everyone partakes in. I was horrified by all i saw this morning but the incident of the trapping of native animals such as the mother possum who had her baby torn from her back, going by their absolute disregard for animal welfare i assume… Read more »
So if there actually are any ‘clean’ trainers and owners, who will they be launching legal action against first?
The state greyhound associations for allowing blatant cheating? The state governments that have funded animal cruelty with OUR tax dollars and also enabled widespread cheating and racing fraud? The live-baiters themselves for fraud?
Oh and I’m sure all those live bating with possums realise they have also broken federal laws relating to native wildlife and Greg Hunt will be taking appropriate action?