Time for a fresh start: ARG responds to live-baiting crisis

MAKE no mistake, greyhound racing in Australia is teetering on the brink of destruction.

The calls for an end to greyhound racing are coming from far and wide in the aftermath of the Four Corners expose originating from Animal Liberation Queensland’s efforts.

Over the past eight years of Australian Racing Greyhound, we have observed, heard and frequently been on the end of abuse and “requests” to stop the sport.

In the past two years those voices have grown louder and the support base has spread from the fanatical animal welfare “professionals” to those further from the fringes.

In the past 12 hours, those voices have been joined by many sensible, reasonable-thinking Australians who have quickly taken to social media to express their outrage – and justifiably so.

What was shown on Monday night in the living rooms of Australia is indefensible.

There are no words which can placate those assaulted by the images or mitigate the reactions to the vision.

Greyhound racing has reached a crossroad – it can continue on in a whole new form with new leadership and a new set of values; or it can go the way so many have before it.

To survive, greyhound racing will require strong, transparent leadership with a strong focus on integrity and welfare – we do not have that currently. It could be argued all racing codes suffer this dilemma, and recent fiascos in AFL and NRL demonstrate integrity is not an issue reserved for the racing codes, but greyhound racing has suffered from a terminal lack of “backbone” from its leaders who are all too happy to hide behind “incidents” and “ongoing investigations” than to put forward the brutal truth.

In the lead-up to the most destructive media event of the year, our leaders seemed to be more concerned with controlling the message than providing that transparency. It was difficult to extract comment from GRV, and the fact we are the only independent media organisation devoted to the coverage of Australian greyhound racing online should not be lost in the noise. This is the same group of people who invited the ABC journalists in on the pretence they were doing a positive story on increasing popularity and TAB turnover in the sport. The words naïve and inept come to mind.

Due in no small part to the short-sighted dealings of the Greyhound Action Group in New South Wales, who got into bed with the Greens and animal welfare groups to get its facile NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into the sport off the ground last year, the bright light of the animal welfare and anti-racing groups was already shining on greyhound racing. After Monday night, that spotlight has turned supernova and includes many who the sport may have considered allies. The heartland of greyhound support, the blue- and white-collar families of suburbia, have turned on the sport in numbers; and the horse racing crowd and their high-profile names have lent their support to calls to ban the sport.

Clearly greyhound racing is on the wrong path; the vast and overwhelming venom and disgust for the sport are palpable.

Swift, dramatic and conclusive changes must take place, and they must take place immediately.

Those who led us here, whether through ignorance or apathy, must be removed for there to be any hope that confidence in the sport will return.

Australian Racing Greyhound is calling for the chairs of the three boards concerned – Greyhound Racing Victoria, Greyhound Racing New South Wales and Racing Queensland – to stand down or be removed at once.

Australian Racing Greyhound is calling for the chief executive officers of the three racing authorities concerned – Greyhound Racing Victoria, Greyhound Racing New South Wales and Racing Queensland – to stand down or be removed.

Australian Racing Greyhound is calling for the chief stewards of the three authorities concerned – Greyhound Racing Victoria, Greyhound Racing New South Wales and Racing Queensland – to stand down or be removed.

Australian Racing Greyhound is calling for life bans for those identified in the vision as perpetuating these acts of extreme animal abuse.

Australian Racing Greyhound is calling for an end to the revolving door of suspensions and disqualifications being subverted by authorising the transfer of greyhounds from the offending trainer to their spouse.

Only clear and decisive actions such as these will even partially restore faith that our authorities can properly administer the sport.

Australian Racing Greyhound fears it is too late.

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Roger Clark
Roger Clark
6 years ago

Retired grey I have been told that in Qld the RSPCA are boarding the dogs for Racing Queensland. This is not happening in Victoria, although GRV stewards are closely monitoring the welfare of all of the greyhounds while the process is being worked through. I think you can rest assured the welfare of the greyhounds is at the top of the list in all states right now.

Retired grey
Retired grey
6 years ago

Roger, thank you for the update. I see that the Greyhound Racing Act 2009 is open until March 2 for comment. I would strongly advise anyone concerned about the recent revelations gets onto the web site and make their voices heard. There is only a short paragraph at the end of the long document about animal welfare. They are saying that there is enough regulation under the cruelty to animals act and that the RSPCA and police have powers under this act. Of course the RSPCA and police are both under staffed and resourced. Perhaps monies gained from gambling should… Read more »

Roger Clark
Roger Clark
6 years ago

Retired grey I agree 100% with that, I will get onto the website as soon as I get a minute.

Bobby Etheridge
Bobby Etheridge
6 years ago

Retired grey Hi there, Thanks for your concern. There are several ‘non kill’ rescue groups like ourselves that have been asked to foster these dogs so that they will be safe.  I work for Friends of the Hound and we are trying hard to get some extra foster carers help cope with what may be a deluge of dogs. As I understand it these dogs must be kept safe until any pending court cases are over, and then hopefully they will be rehomed.  The cost to our non funded group will be enormous so any help or donations would be… Read more »

MatthewRyanBuckley
MatthewRyanBuckley
6 years ago

Roger Clark Retired grey If the RSPCA are under-resourced and need more money, then I suggest the people responsible for live baiting have all their money and assets confliscated without compensation and have it all donated to the RSPCA and the police

Bobby Etheridge
Bobby Etheridge
6 years ago

Retired grey As I said the dogs are being dispersed though breed specific rescues like Friends of the Hound, these rescues are not funded by anyone except themselves.  The RSPCA, do a great job but have massive funding from various sources, and cannot keep these dogs long term.  The dogs may be in foster for a long time as there are cases pending. It’s the independent greyhound specific rescues are the ones that need the money and hopefully someone will see that we are picking up the pieces of this mess.  As you rightly say, that these mongrels have created.… Read more »

Roger Clark
Roger Clark
6 years ago

MatthewRyanBuckley Roger Clark Retired grey Good idea.

Retired grey
Retired grey
6 years ago

Bobby
I have two retired greys from Friends of the Hounds via Janette.
One report from Queensland said the government was going to give 350 dollars to rescue organisations, other than, GAP, for every grey rehomed. Wonder if FOTH is going to get a piece of that pie, I know first hand what a great job you do for the dogs.

Retired grey
Retired grey
6 years ago

Great idea, but can any of us see that sensible suggestion happening?

Retired grey
Retired grey
6 years ago

The money in the first instance should go to the people and organisations caring for the dogs that have been confiscated. These people should not have to bare the cost of care and rehabilitation, when the “owners” created the problem, they should pay.

Bobby Etheridge
Bobby Etheridge
6 years ago

Retired grey That would barely cover their desexing, but every little bit helps.  Janette and Kay do amazing work down there. I take you’re a happy retired grey owner….

Graham
Graham
6 years ago

This is a disgrace on all of humanity. It’s up to us (the general public) to put a stop to this so called “sport”. It cannot be policed..they will only go further underground.  Close the industry down.

Patrick Heffernan
Patrick Heffernan
6 years ago

Damage control. The wankers running this industry across all states need to be stood down, effective immediately.

Melissa Aramini
Melissa Aramini
6 years ago

Jared Della Casa

Tony Cooper
Tony Cooper
6 years ago

If the follow-on lure wasn’t taken away from us we would not be in this situation we are in today. All greyhounds want, is to catch what they are chasing, whether it be a piece of fur or a piece of rag, they don’t care as long as they can catch it.

Jared Della Casa
Jared Della Casa
6 years ago

Its about the live baiting thats being done not the usual follow on with a rabbit thats already been killed inhumanely

Jared Della Casa
Jared Della Casa
6 years ago

Correction killed humanely

Tony Cooper
Tony Cooper
6 years ago

The greyhounds will chase harder with the follow-on lure if they know they can catch it. There will be no reason for anything else not even the humanely killed rabbits. I know many trainers that have done this evan myself and it works wonders.

Todman
Todman
6 years ago

this is a minimum all three states must act decisively, the other states need to make sure nothing else occurs in their domain, disgusting evidence and those on the Internet trying to defend their mates get a life or there will be no greyhound racing at all

Recluse 60
Recluse 60
6 years ago

You have my full support Kevin, but how do we go about it as one because those in smoke filled rooms will only do it if its of advantage to them?

RISirius
RISirius
6 years ago

GreyhoundRacing It’s just too late.It’s not like we don’t know some will do anything for 1538.Should’ve been heavily reg’d from the start.

sgt_rawk
sgt_rawk
6 years ago

CosmicRami GreyhoundRacing I found it curious that everyone was so shocked that it was actually happening.

brettscoast
brettscoast
6 years ago

GreyhoundRacing 4corners PommyTikka AnimalsAus to have know about this practice and done nothing does not cut it.

Wolfie_Rankin
Wolfie_Rankin
6 years ago

CosmicRami GreyhoundRacing “Strong Leadership” Hrmmm where have I heard that before?

GreyhoundRacing
GreyhoundRacing
6 years ago

Wolfie_Rankin CosmicRami possibly poor choice of words – but those who allowed this to happen on their watch must stand down

Thenativecat
Thenativecat
6 years ago

GreyhoundRacing 4corners PommyTikka AnimalsAus Its been going on 4 over 30yrs in Sydney,common knowledge. Greyhound ind full of psychos

miamiaman
miamiaman
6 years ago

CosmicRami Wolfie_Rankin GreyhoundRacing Para 4 is a killer.If u had listened 2 those u denigrate in that para u wldn’t b in this mess

Treehugger
Treehugger
6 years ago

Agghh, the sweet smell of  a dying industry, flailing around like one of those poor bloody possums last night.  Not a second before time.  Lets face it, you had your chance to have a clean welfare friendly industry and you blew it, no one to blame but yourselves.

Percyvale1
Percyvale1
6 years ago

4corners GreyhoundRacing Is He for real?!

Jason Matthews
Jason Matthews
6 years ago

I agree Tony Cooper..

drekka
drekka
6 years ago

If caught: immediate life ban for ALL associated owners, trainers and their immediate families. Immediate confiscation of all dogs owned or managed. Life ban from ever owning any dogs in the future.

And for those actually proven to be directly inflicting or participating in the cruelty depicted (either to bait or dogs): Jail terms not less that 6 months, with more time added depending on estimates of animals killed. 

Ban_Live_Export
Ban_Live_Export
6 years ago

4corners GreyhoundRacing Aside from the obvious animal cruelty issues, what about all those that bet on dogs that weren’t live baited?

MatthewRyanBuckley
MatthewRyanBuckley
6 years ago

What was exposed on  “Four Corners” last night absolutely sickening and infuriating. The people responsible for such barbaric treatment of animals deserve life in gaol without parole.
Also, as the “Four Corners” episode pointed out, not only is live baiting horrendously cruel to animals it is a form cheating. Thus, I suspect people who bet on, and owners of, dogs who would have won races had those races not been fixed would be justified in launching a class action lawsuit. 

Lpstik_Lbrarian
Lpstik_Lbrarian
6 years ago

NicHalley follow me ya biyatch! ;-)

Chloeebunny
Chloeebunny
6 years ago

4corners GreyhoundRacing this “sport” should be banned, too much money & greed which allows for animal cruelty

RufusLelevrier
RufusLelevrier
6 years ago

ARG just can’t help blaming “the Greens and animal welfare groups” for the mess the racing industry is in. If only those “short-sighted” people in the Greyhound Action Group hadn’t teamed up with them to start the NSW Parliamentary Inquiry, we’re told, the bright light they cast on the racing industry wouldn’t now be going supernova!

Sounds like ARG is more upset that the truth has gotten out than they are that the racing industry is riddled with cruel animal abusers right up to its highest levels. 

ChayNeal
ChayNeal
6 years ago

4corners GreyhoundRacing Or a fresh END to this barbaric sport which clearly has systemic issues and has had for countless decades!

MarionPurnell
MarionPurnell
6 years ago

Brings a whole new meaning to the words “not cat friendly”. 

Annette Haridan
Annette Haridan
6 years ago

But I don’t expect the perpetrators will get any serious, if any, punishment. Money a(nd mates with things to hide for each other), buys peoples silence and the power brokers will close ranks. I have already heard some high porfile people in your industy trying to suggest it’s not happening ‘very much’, if at all. now. Casting doubt on the #4corners program. And a trainer demonstrating how to tie a little live animal, like a toy, on a tether and as it tries to jump around on the ground to escape, letting dogs maul it to death in front of… Read more »

Bobby Etheridge
Bobby Etheridge
6 years ago

This ‘sport’ has got to end.  The people involved with animal cruelty will not change because they have been caught, that kind of depravity never leaves them.  Also, the 4 Corners program only addressed one area of the sickening abuse, there’s more, much more still to come out of the grimy pits of greyhound training. The same callus abuse is used on the dogs themselves, they are given illegal drugs routinely, and are subjected to physical and mental trauma to make them run faster and finally they are either euthanised, bled out or shot.  It’s to late for them to… Read more »

JennyAnthony
JennyAnthony
6 years ago

Your solution kill off 100000 pups and adult greyhounds to stop animal cruelty. The majority of greyhound people play by the rules, but they should be penalised too, that’s fair. Why not allow the industry to react and improve. Animal welfare has become a big issue in recent times with the improvement in the dog keeping being a priority, spreading their resources. Now with the extra funding and laws changing for surveillance and entering of premises brought about because of these raids, they can target the wrongdoers.

Roger Clark
Roger Clark
6 years ago

Outstanding article, and I agree that the proposal for the three positions in each state to be vacated immediately is essentiol to any possible solution to this problem. Those identified should be banned, and none of their dogs should be able to be transferred to anyone remotely related to them, let alone their spouse. The dogs should be removed from their properties for good, and the properties not allowed for use for greyhounds while still owned by the,.

MarionPurnell
MarionPurnell
6 years ago

JennyAnthony Why not allow for the industry to react and improve? The industry has had 150 years to react and improve and just look how fantastically clean the industry is right now! It’s crooked to the core. Let’s face it. 

MarionPurnell
MarionPurnell
6 years ago

Why are comments being deleted from this article?

MarionPurnell
MarionPurnell
6 years ago

why are comments being deleted from this article?

Roger Clark
Roger Clark
6 years ago

MarionPurnell JennyAnthony I am sorry that I do not agree that it is rotten to the core. I have been in the industry for 50 years, there are bad apples in every industry, community, group, country, race, wherever you look, but the vast majority should not be punished. Even if Trial tracks are only able to be open a certain number of hours each day, under GRV, or independently appointed stewards. 

Roger Clark
Roger Clark
6 years ago

I am sure the RSPCA will ensure the perpetrators of these acts are adequately punished. They have been caught on film, can’t argue with that, and it’s been seen on national television.

Roger Clark
Roger Clark
6 years ago

JennyAnthony Well said Jenny.

RaceMedia
RaceMedia
6 years ago

MarionPurnell Nothing is deleted

Bobby Etheridge
Bobby Etheridge
6 years ago

Jenny it’s not my solution to kill pups and adult dogs, it’s the industry’s. They get rid of, in the order of 20,000 per year. Surplus to requirements, overbreeding, injuries, non chasers and just too slows, broodies that have had far too many litters.  How do you know that the majority ‘play by the rules’?  The Integrity Officers, were supposed to find these offenders, they had a large budget to to it, and they didn’t, what does that tell you? Some ‘Not for Profit’ organisation found them on a meagre budget. You’re right Animal Welfare is a big issue, but… Read more »