In the wake of the Victorian live baiting investigations that have seen three trainers suspended pending inquiry, the CEO of RSPCA Victoria has stated the organisation does not want to see greyhound racing shutdown.
Speaking this morning on 3AW, the question was put to Dr Liz Walker whether or not the RSPCA would like greyhound racing banned.
“That’s not our position,” she responded.
“I can see why you would say that because, undoubtedly, it’s horrendous to think that anybody thinks it’s okay to strap a live animal on a lure and then let other animals chase it, terrorise it and bite it.
“The level of fear, terror, pain and stress that those animals would feel is just incomprehensible.
“I think what’s important here to consider is that the industry is on a journey and there’s money to be made here and there’s definitely a huge piece of cultural change that’s happening.
“It’s really disappointing to think that four years down the track there’s still people who think it’s okay.”
But the RSPCA is looking at the positives and the fact that investigations from within Greyhound Racing Victoria uncovered this evidence, rather than animal activists or advocacy journalists.
“What is comforting is that there’s evidence from Greyhound Racing Victoria, you can look at their annual report, is that they’ve found this and (we’re) working to hold them to account,” Dr Walker said.
Earlier this week the Victorian Government said it would be backing the Victorian greyhound industry and Greyhound Racing Victoria over the issue. Victoria’s Minister for Racing, Martin Pakula, said he was disappointed by the allegations but added that those who did the wrong thing were a minority in an industry of 15,000 people.
“In any sport or in any walk of life there are people who are going to do the wrong thing,” he said.
“The real question is can you detect it? Can you stamp it out? Can you charge them? Can you rub them out?”
Pakula said greyhound racing had changed drastically since the live baiting saga which led the the flip-flop NSW greyhound racing ban in 2016.
“I’d have to say five years ago in greyhound racing, I don’t think we could have said yes to those questions,” he said.
“We can now. So what are we going to do about it? Exactly what we’ve just done.
“It hasn’t been uncovered by news organisations or activists groups, it’s the the Victorian greyhound racing integrity officials that have uncovered this, suspended these people.”