A SOUTH Australian politician wants action on the live baiting saga with legislation set to go before parliament which will see harsher penalties for anyone found to be violating animal welfare laws.
Michelle Lensink, a Liberal frontbencher, said she was approached with animal welfare concerns in the wake of the ABC’s confronting Four Corners program, and after consideration she believes the higher controls are now required in the industry.
The new greyhound training bill would require all training bullrings used in the state be licensed with those operating unlicensed venues facing harsh penalties of up to a year in jail and a $10,000 fine.
In addition, anyone found guilty of live baiting could face up to penalties as harsh as jail terms and $50,000 fine, with those who knowingly provided an animal for live baiting facing two years and a $20,000 fine.
Lensink’s party is in Opposition in South Australia, so the legislation will be put to senior greyhound officials and the SA government.
Penalties have also been increased for live baiting in WA with those found guilty to be disqualified for no less than 10 years with a fine of $50,000. In addition, those guilty will not be able to make future applications for registered involvement within the sport of greyhound racing.
There will be no distinction between possessing any live animal and actually using it as live bait when it is clear the animal is not a domestic pet.
No Significant Updates from Queensland
Racing Queensland (RQ) confirmed to Australian Racing Greyhound on Wednesday no greyhounds had been returned to their owners after the authority body seized approximately 100 dogs from the properties of suspended participants last week.
RQ will still not reveal where the greyhounds are being kept, but did dispel speculation one greyhound had died.
Victorian report to strengthen greyhound racing
A final report will be provided within two months which will detail how to improve animal welfare standards, governance and compliance within the greyhound racing industry in Victoria.
Minister for Agriculture, Jaala Pulford, said the Andrews Labour Government would stamp out live baiting when announcing the terms of reference for the Investigation into Animal Welfare and Cruelty in the Greyhound Racing Industry in Parliament on Tuesday night. The investigation is set to be led by Victoria’s Chief Veterninary Officer, Cr Charles Milne, in partnership with Greyhound Racing Victoria (GRV).
It will include:
- A review of the industry codes and standards in relation to the protection and welfare of animals within the industry
- A review of the animal welfare governance systems and the strategies for compliance and enforcement.
- recommendations on how these animal welfare standards, governance and compliance can be improved.
Preliminary reports from Milne and the Racing Integrity Commissioner will be delivered within the next two weeks before the final report is handed to the Minister for Agriculture and the Minister for racing no later than April 30 this year.
“We are serious about animal welfare. We are taking immediate action to address these disgusting acts of cruelty,” Pulford said.
“Live-baiting is barbaric, abhorrent and illegal. It has absolutely no place in Victoria’s racing industry and it must be stopped.”
“We want to send a strong message to the community and the industry that this sort of horrific behaviour will not be tolerated.”