Parker said there was anger in the greyhound community that a small number of trainers had flouted the law with behaviour he said was “extremely unethical”, “abhorrent” and “totally rejected by the industry”.
Speaking before Monday night’s airing of the Four Corners investigation titled “Making A Killing”, he said the controversy over live baiting had resurfaced just as the industry was making inroads into becoming a family-friendly sport “all about the racing’’.
“We don’t believe it [live baiting] is systemic,” he said.
Parker rejected suggestions the ruling bodies were not well enough resourced to seek out and combat cases of live baiting.
Rather he said it was no simple matter to obtain evidence as stewards could not trespass on private properties to take footage or seek evidence of any alleged wrongdoing. Stewards often followed up tip-offs and speculation regarding live baiting but had to operate by their own set of rules.
Four Corners, in conjunction with Animals Australia and Animal Liberation Queensland, is understood to have handed footage and other information relating to alleged live-baiting activities to state-based RSPCAs a fortnight ago.
The RSPCA, along with state police, launched co-ordinated raids last Wednesday at five properties in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. So far, seven participants have been stood down in Queensland, six in NSW and 10 in Victoria.
Parker also said it was not unusual that the 23 participants had been immediately stood down, saying the serious nature of the alleged offences demanded swift action.
He said Greyhounds Australasia would undertake an independent review of all systems relating to animal welfare and integrity to meet and surpass community expectations.
Greyhounds Australasia is the overarching body that includes representatives from Australia’s state and territory controlling groups and from Greyhound Racing New Zealand.