THINGS are continuing to heat up in the greyhound racing industry after last week’s co-ordinated RSPCA and police raids targeting alleged live-baiting in the sport.
Champion Queensland trainer Reg Kay is set to face an interview with Racing Queensland today (Monday) after he made comments to Australian Racing Greyhound admitting he was trialling at Tom Noble’s private trial track the same morning two wild pigs were removed from the property.
The raid subsequently left seven participants stood down, including Noble.
Kay told Australian Racing Greyhound on Saturday he had nothing to do with any alleged live-baiting activity at the premises and that it not an activity in which he partakes.
“I trialled early, I put four pups around with wool on the arm, I didn’t see any live stuff there. I have never seen any live stuff there,” he said.
“We don’t give live kills, we use wool. Our dogs are broken in on wool and squeakers and we keep them on that.”
RQ general manager of Integrity and Steward Operations Wade Birch confirmed in a press release Kay would be meeting with RQ stewards to discuss his comments.
“In light of the comments attributed to Mr Kay confirming his attendance at the property prior to Wednesday’s operation, stewards have requested he be interviewed tomorrow (Monday),” Mr Birch said.
“Mr Kay has co-operated with that request and has denied he was involved in the alleged activity.”
In further news, some tracks in New South Wales have suspended finish-on-lure trials as a response to the live-baiting raids, despite the practice being legal.
Finish-on-lure trials use a humanely killed dead rabbit on the arm as incentive for the greyhounds to chase which they are then able to ‘grab’ upon completing their runs.
Executive officer of the NSW Greyhound Breeders Owners and Trainers Association Brenton Scott confirmed to Australian Racing Greyhound that finish-on-lure trials had been stopped immediately at certain tracks following last week’s raids in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria .
“The matter has been listed for discussion at the GBOTA board of directors’ meeting next Saturday, February 21, 2015,” he said in an email.
“In the meantime, ongoing communication will take place with GRNSW.
“Some GBOTA tracks have suspended finish-on trials until such time as the meeting of directors takes place. However, I expect that a blanket GBOTA position will be in place following the (February) 21 meeting.”
The actions taken by these tracks came on the eve of the ABC’s Four Corners investigation into the sport in an episode titled ‘Making A Killing’.
Scott said the alleged illegal happenings should not affect a widely practised training method that offers a legal and humane alternative to live baiting.
“The RSPCA raids of last week and media coverage flagged for this week have and are expected to identify live-baiting practices.
“Such practices are illegal and barbaric and cannot be condoned in any shape or form. The practices have, however, taken place at private facilities or training tracks.
“This, in itself, does not mean that finish-on trials, conducted in a legally compliant and controlled manner at racetracks, need to be abandoned.”