Greyhound racing has no future in ACT, Chief Minister says
The ACT is set to follow New South Wales’ lead and ban greyhound racing after Chief Minister Andrew Barr said there was “no future for the industry” in the territory.
Greyhound racing will be banned in NSW from July 1 next year, with Premier Mike Baird saying the “widespread and systemic mistreatment of animals” could not be tolerated.
In a statement, Mr Barr said the ACT Government agreed with the NSW Government’s decisions and would consider the findings of the NSW report before announcing a timeframe to ban the practice.
“The Government cannot continue to support an industry that is turning a blind eye to the sort of behaviour and cruelty uncovered by the special commission of inquiry,” Mr Barr said in a statement.
“It is untenable for the ACT Government to continue allowing, and financially supporting the practice of greyhound racing.”
The NSW decision comes after a special commission of inquiry found overwhelming evidence of animal cruelty, including mass greyhound killings and live baiting.
Greyhound racing to be banned in New South Wales, Baird Government announces
Updated 13 minutes ago
The New South Wales Government has announced it will end greyhound racing in the state from July 1 next year.
It comes after a special commission of inquiry found overwhelming evidence of systemic animal cruelty, including mass greyhound killings and live baiting.
Premier Mike Baird said the findings of the report were damning.
He said the industry was not capable in the short or medium term of reforming and in the coming months the Government would be working toward an orderly shutdown.
NSW will become the first Australian state or territory to ban greyhound racing.
More to come.
Special Commission of Inquiry into the Greyhound Racing Industry in NSW
The Honourable Michael McHugh AC QC was appointed by Letters Patent issued in the name of the Governor of New South Wales on 6 May 2015 to inquire into the Greyhound Racing Industry in NSW.
Commissioner McHugh AC QC provided his report on the Special Commission of Inquiry into the Greyhound Racing Industry in NSW to the Governor on 16 June 2016.
Transitioning the NSW greyhound racing industry to closure
The NSW Government has decided to shut down the greyhound racing in NSW following the report of the Special Commission of Inquiry into the Greyhound Racing Industry.
The Special Commission of Inquiry found overwhelming evidence of systemic animal cruelty, including mass greyhound killings and live baiting. The inquiry’s report concluded that the NSW Greyhound Racing Industry has fundamental animal welfare issues, integrity and governance failings that can not be remedied.
The NSW greyhound racing industry will be transitioned to closure over 12 months to allow appropriate management of animal welfare and transitions for industry participants. Racing of greyhounds will be permitted until 1 July 2017.
The NSW Government will announce a detailed industry shutdown plan during the second half of 2016 following consultation with stakeholders in industry and animal welfare organisations. The plan will include:
- A welfare plan for existing greyhounds;
- A support package for industry participants; and
- A transition arrangement for existing Greyhound Racing NSW assets that will ensure they are used for open public space, alternative sporting facilities or other community use.
- The Report of the Special Commission of Inquiry into the Greyhound Racing Industry in NSW
The Special Commission of Inquiry report has been published in accordance with the recommendations of the Special Commissioner, the Hon. Michael McHugh AC QC. The Special Commissioner recommended that parts of the report not be published. Those parts have been redacted in accordance with the Special Commissioner’s recommendations.
- Media release from the Premier and Deputy Premier, 7 July 2016
- Fact sheet about the Special Commission of Inquiry into the Greyhound Racing Industry in NSW [PDF, 155kb]
- Questions and answers about transitioning to closure of the NSW greyhound racing industry [PDF, 185kb]
- Call 1800 812 115 for more information about support services for existing greyhounds and industry participants or visit the Office of Racing website.
Many more about to be exposed, it makes me ask this question…
IF they had any honour and respect for their loved ones (people ,not dogs or animals they have proven that) who are about to be shamed, they would step up and say I fucked up! I got caught up whatever. The earlier participants speak up the better they will be received.
Otherwise, this is how it will be, little kids who loved their daddy, uncle, grandpa in photos with winners will grow to be disgusted. The public and punters etc are outraged but these tossers have their very own families and grand kids to answer to. WHY grandpa??????? is being asked all over Australia
Shocking’ debt deepens Racing Qld crisis
3 hours ago June 03, 2015
DEAD greyhounds aren’t the only skeletons in Racing Queensland’s closet.
THE state government says the body is responsible for failing to stop the disappearances and killing of thousands of dogs and turning a blind eye to the practice of live baiting.
But Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has revealed Racing Queensland’s crisis is deeper – it’s also grappling with “shocking” amounts of debt.
Greyhound Hall of Fame trainer Ron Ball banned for life
May 26, 2015
QUEENSLAND Greyhound Hall of Fame trainer Ron Ball has been banned from the industry for life.
The banning of Ball – who has not been charged by police – is one of the biggest scalps since investigations began into the greyhound industry.
A Racing Queensland statement confirmed Ball had also been removed from the hall of fame.
“The Queensland All Codes Racing Industry Board (QACRIB) has today taken the decision to warn-off greyhound licensee Mr Ron Ball in relation to its investigations into live-baiting in the greyhound industry,” the statement says.
“Mr Ball had previously been issued with a show-cause notice as to why he should be deemed a desirable person to be present on a Queensland racecourse.
“After considering Mr Ball’s submission, QACRIB determined he was not a desirable individual to be present at a racecourse and took the decision to warn him off.
“As a result of the QACRIB findings, Mr Ball has been removed from the Queensland Greyhound Racing Hall of Fame.
“He becomes the 22nd greyhound trainer to be warned-off in Queensland.”
Greyhound live baiting: Seven Victorian trainers charged by Greyhound Racing Victoria
Seven trainers have been charged by Greyhound Racing Victoria (GRV) over alleged live baiting at the trial track in Tooradin, in Victoria’s south-east.
A Four Corners report aired earlier this year revealed disturbing footage of racing dogs chasing piglets, rabbits and possums and mauling them to death.
A number of investigations across the country, including in Victoria, were initiated.
The investigations looked at whether live baiting was common practice in the industry and resulted in a number of trainers being suspended.
The board of GRV resigned in February following the revelations, and a new one was appointed.
Today GRV said seven of 15 people involved in alleged live baiting at Tooradin had been charged with 33 offences for conduct contrary to both local and Australasian rules.
It called the offences “serious”.
The trainers charged were Christopher Connolly, Dennis Dean, Brett Mackie, Darren McDonald, Anthony Mills, Jon Roberts and Eric Sykes.
The independent Greyhound Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board will hear and determine the charges.
Spent ammunition found at site where 55 greyhound carcasses were dumped in bushland near Bundaberg
Spent .22 calibre ammunition shells have been found scattered around a southern Queensland wildflower reserve where the bodies of 55 greyhounds were discovered, in what Police Minister Jo-Ann Miller has described as a “mass murder” by “oxygen thieves”.
Police and the RSPCA’s joint taskforce into the disgraced industry discovered the mass dumping site south of Bundaberg on Wednesday after being tipped off.
Detective Superintendent Mark Ainsworth said the greyhounds were in varying states of decomposition, which indicates that they were dumped over varying periods of time.
There was no attempt to bury the carcasses and they were left out, some with a single gunshot wound, to be fed on by wild animals, Detective Ainsworth said.
Wildfires have ripped through the area in recent months, which destroyed some of the carcasses, and police are investigating if the fires were deliberately lit.
“It appears that maybe a common knowledge dumping ground,” Detective Ainsworth said.
“It could be that someone within the industry knows the remoteness of that area and knows that it’s a safe place to dispose of greyhounds that are no longer performing. It is quite disturbing.
“You know who you are, you know what you’ve been involved in, and now is the time to stand up and be counted and come forward before we start knocking on your door.”
Only one road in and out of killing field
The Vera Scarth-Johnson Wildflower Reserve is off Coonarr Road, near the Kinkuna National Park.
Detective Ainsworth said there was only one road in and out and locals must know regular users of the reserve.
“The beach area near the locations is utilised by local greyhounds racers to train their dogs,” he said.
“We want anyone with good local knowledge of the area to come forward.”
Brenden Trickey lives near the site where the dogs were found and said he was shocked so many were dumped in such a small area.
“This area here is very quiet and friendly, everyone seems to know everyone,” he said.
“It’s the last thing you’d expect in this area.
“Everyone’s got a pet. Everyone out here owns a dog and I could not imagine anyone out here doing such a disgusting act.”
Mr Trickey said the road where the dogs were found is quite remote.
“It’s just the main road to the beach really, there’s a couple of houses there but mainly beach houses for rentals,” he said.
“But other than that it’s very quiet in general up that road.”
Bundaberg Greyhound Club president Stephen Bland took to social media on Wednesday night to express shock at the discovery.
“We are appalled by the news and are doing all we can to find whomever is responsible for this disgraceful act,” he said.
Queensland Police Minister labels killers ‘oxygen thieves’
Ms Miller said Racing Queensland and police have identified a number of trainers and owners in the area and that would form part of the investigation.
“The people who have perpetrated this crime to me are oxygen thieves, they are cowards and they are pathetic,” she said.
Detective Ainsworth said many of the deaths appear to have occurred before the ABC’s Four Corners exposed in February live-baiting and cruelty in the industry.
The program showed footage of live piglets, possums and rabbits being fixed to mechanical lures and catapulted around tracks while being chased, and eventually killed, by dogs.
The program led to numerous animal cruelty charges, life bans from the industry and the creation of the taskforce which found the dogs on Wednesday night.
In Queensland, a total of 36 trainers have been suspended over the scandal, with six now issued with life bans from dog racing.
The Queensland Government has also ordered an independent review of the state’s greyhound industry to investigate how the practice went undetected.
From other news sites:
Greyhound Racing Victoria board resigns after report into live baiting at Tooradin
The board of Greyhound Racing Victoria (GRV) has resigned after an interim report found no evidence board members knew about the practice of live baiting at the Tooradin trial track.
Racing Minister Martin Pakula said the industry needed a fresh start and a new board of three would provide the cultural change needed at GRV.
Ray Gunston, the former chief financial officer for Tatts Group, was appointed the new chair, along with former Victoria Police commissioner Ken Lay and Melbourne barrister Judith Bornstein.
The chairman of Greyhound Racing Victoria, Peter Caillard, resigned over the controversy last month.
The resignations came after Racing Integrity Commissioner Sal Perna released a report which found there was no “direct” evidence of live baiting at any track other than Tooradin.
However the report said it would be “naive” to accept that the practice was not and had not been going on elsewhere.
On the balance of probabilities, Mr Perna said, GRV could not have been expected to know about the practice considering their lack of powers to inspect properties.
Mr Perna said there were currently only two compliance inspectors for the whole state, but noted that GRV had advertised to employ four more.
“The people that perform the compliance and welfare checks are restricted in their powers to attend at what they call a reasonable hour,” he said.
“That means there’s a degree of predictability.”
‘Small group’ responsible for unlawful activity
The report was ordered in response to revelations by Four Corners which found live animals were being used to blood greyhounds used for racing.
Mr Perna’s report also found there was no current evidence to substantiate the allegations of a cover-up at GRV in regards to live baiting at Tooradin or elsewhere.
This is beyond greyhound welfare. This is animal welfare. Cruelty is just not on.Sal Perna, Victorian Racing Integrity Commissioner
He recommended increasing the powers of animal welfare compliance, education and integrity staff at GRV.
“This is a small group of people that are conducting unlawful activity,” he said. “I don’t think it’s representative of the industry.”
Mr Perna also called on GRV to make formal agreements with animal welfare groups such as the RSPCA to ensure the immediate reporting of allegations of cruelty.
“This is beyond greyhound welfare,” he said. “This is animal welfare. Cruelty is just not on.”
Mr Pakula asked the Department of Justice to examine what legislative changes were needed to increase animal welfare compliance powers.
He also asked the new GRV to get straight to work implementing the five interim recommendations from Mr Perna’s report.
They included increasing the powers of animal compliance officers, introducing new regulations for trainers, and new strict compliance rules for trainers and owners regarding the ownership and transfer of ownership of greyhounds.
Animal welfare ‘comes last’ in racing industry: RSPCA
The RSPCA said the greyhound industry’s efforts to regulate itself had been an “abject failure” and an independent body was needed to oversee the sport.
Its Victorian chief executive, Liz Walker, said the interim report lacked clear outcomes, and greyhound welfare seemed to come last.
“The evidence shows that under self-regulation, it’s been an abject failure,” she said.
“If the public are going to have confidence that greyhound welfare is going to be the utmost concern, then the only way forward is to have this independent body.”
Opposition Leader Matthew Guy welcomed the resignation of the board.
“As far as I’m concerned it is good that the board’s gone,” Mr Guy said.
“It sends a message, it sends a clear message to everyone in the greyhound industry that those who have been complicit or take part in live baiting should and will be brought to justice.”
He also said he supported a review into whether greyhound racing needed a greater level of oversight to protect animals.
“I think the time’s come for a discussion around animal welfare, which may be outside of the scope of what we’ve seen previously,” he said.
Mr Pakula was asked why the board members resigned if they had been cleared of wrongdoing.
“They’ve taken the view, which I share, that for the code to move forward and public confidence to be restored that a new start is required with a new board,” he said.
“We don’t for a moment believe the appointment of a new board itself will restore confidence.
“It will be about the way that the industry carries itself and the way it deals with those people who insist on doing the wrong thing.”
Queensland greyhound trainers Reg Kay, Tom Noble, Debra Arnold, James Harding and Tony McCabe have all been banned for life for their part in archaic live baiting practices. The five will never participate in the sport of greyhound racing again after being warned off racetracks and banned from training or owning greyhounds, as well as being banned from placing any wagers on greyhound racing.Racing Queensland Chairman explained the reasons behind the decision.”As a board we determined the actions of these individuals proved they should not be considered fit and proper persons to continue to be involved in the greyhound industry,” Mr Dixon said after a Racing Queensland board meeting at Deagon.
“The conduct we saw from these people in the evidence provided to us is not only against the rules of greyhound racing, it is deplorable by its very nature.
“There is no place for anyone who engages in this type of conduct in the industry.”
This conduct came to light after an investigation by the ABC’s Four Corners program, which exposed horrific cruelty in the widespread use of live animals such as piglets, possums and rabbits on mechanical lures as a means of ‘blooding’ greyhounds.
Racing Queensland’s probe into the cases of involving trainers Greg Stella and Michael Chapman is yet to be resolved.
WA imposes life ban, $50k fine for greyhound industry live bait offenders
Anyone found to be involved in the practice of live baiting in the greyhound industry will be banned from the sport for life, under tough new rules announced by Racing and Wagering WA.
The industry has been embroiled in a live baiting scandal in the eastern states but there is no clear evidence of the practice in WA.
Racing and Wagering WA said offenders involved in live baiting will face a minimum 10-year disqualification and $50,000 fine, in addition to a life ban from the sport.
Previously the penalty was a 12-month disqualification from the industry.
General manager Denis Borovica said offenders would not be able to participate in greyhound racing in any registered capacity for life.
“We felt that it would more appropriately reflect the zero tolerance we have for offenders by having a penalty provision that prescribes a period of not less than 10 years disqualification and a fine of $50,000 for any person found guilty of an offence involving live game,” he said.
“So effectively what the penalty means is that for 10 years you’re unable to set foot on the racecourse and after that you become a member of the public again, but you’ll only be a member of the public you will not be a participant of the racing industry again.”
The State Government said WA now has the harshest penalties for animal cruelty in the country.
The entire board of Greyhound Racing NSW has been dismissed following revelations of widespread live baiting within the industry, the New South Wales Government says.
The board’s powers have been referred to interim chief executive officer and head of the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing, Paul Newson.
NSW Racing Minister Troy Grant said he dismissed the board because his government wanted to restore the integrity of the industry.
“They have agreed with me that the community has lost confidence in the industry, and we now need the clear air in order to reform and reshape the industry,” he said.
NOTICE FROM OWNER AND ADMINISTRATOR OF THIS SITE
To those highlighted (and those pending, you can’t delete every pic online) in the gallery. Stop trying to threaten me via email etc or any other way you like because NOTHING will be removed. It does not work that way anymore…
The PIG/RABBIT/POSSUM is out of the bag and talking And I keep every instance of contact via communication, email, mobile, social media etc for safe keeping.
ROGUE TRAINERS GALLERY (added to daily)
“Um… If they do I don’t know about it and I don’t really want to know about it. Um, but yeah, so this is the…It’s cruel. Yeah. You know, it’s not…No, it’s not the done thing.”
TOM NOBLE, TRAINER, owner/operator of a popular break-in centre on Wotan Road, owner/operator of a popular break-in centre on Wotan Road, Churchable
“Yeah, one with no muzzle: that was $100. That was $50 there to kill the pig. They’re $50 each, them c**ts.”
(Footage of RSPCA inspectors at Tom Noble’s training track)
INSPECTOR: So have you ever used pigs? Have you ever been on this property and used pigs in the past?
TOM NOBLE: No, I haven’t.
REG KAY: 3 Greyhound of the Year titles and the “2008 Australian trainer of the year”
TONY MCCABE, TRAINER,
JAMES HARDING, TRAINER
MICHAEL CHAPMAN, TRAINER
GREG STELLA , TRAINER
STEPHEN SHERWELL, TRAINER
GERRI CRISCI, TRAINER
ANTHONY HESS, TRAINER
STEVEN ARNOLD, TRAINER
MICK EMERY, TRAINER
SAMANTHA ROBERTS, TRAINER
JOHN THOMPSON, TRAINER, Shannon Brook, NSW
“What people have got to realise: it’s like anything you do. You’ve got to come out of the old days into the new days. With the welfare of greyhounds now, your biggest factor is, is that it, it doesn’t happen that easy any more”
ZEKE KADIR, TRAINER break-in Centre, Wilshire Park, Londonderry, NSW
(The rabbits are tied to a hand-pushed lure controlled by Zeke Kadir, dragged along the ground at speed, pursued by dogs in so-called training.)
HARRY SARKIS, TRAINER, so many questions, read all about the luxury kennels built by TAFE and more read here
(In a further blow to the industry, champion Londonderry trainer Harry Sarkis has been suspended pending an inquiry into vials of banned substances found at his kennels during an inspection.
Sarkis has trained champion dogs for more than 20 years, including Tenthill Doll and Kristy’s Charity, and reportedly paid $800,000 for Brett Lee at the end of its career.)
IAN MORGAN, TRAINER, The trainer was caught removing the possum’s fur and flesh from its mouth. He’s blooding one of his up-and-coming dogs, Cee Cee Quoted.Four days later, we caught Ian Morgan leaving his western Sydney home with Cee Cee Quoted, bound for an afternoon race meet in Newcastle.
JOHN CAUCHI, TRAINER, Box Hill
(footage of Cauchi swinging a live rabbit before a greyhound as it attacks it)
BRUCE CARR, TRAINER, has been suspended after GRNSW removed four live rabbits from his property.
JOHN O’BRIEN, TRAINER has admitted keeping eight live European rabbits in cages on his Congewai property, but denied any involvement in live baiting after explosive evidence of systemic cheating uncovered by ABC’s Four Corners program.
Mr O’Brien, a licensed trainer based west of Cessnock, was immediately stood down on Thursday after officers from Greyhound Racing NSW raided his property and found eight live European rabbits.
His property was raided the same week as five registered trainers and operators in western Sydney who were targeted by RSPCA NSW officers over live baiting.
Mr O’Brien stressed he had no intention of live baiting the rabbits, saying he kept them to use for ‘‘finish-on-lure’’ trials, where a humanely killed rabbit is attached to the arm of the lure as incentive for the greyhound to chase.
‘‘How I do it is I get bush rabbits, wild rabbits, and I break their neck and remove their head and everything else, the intestines and stomach and the dead rabbits go on the lure,’’ he said.
‘‘My only problem was I kept the bunnies alive, a bunny out of the freezer can come out quite wet and cold and if you put it in the microwave then it can fall apart.
‘‘I was silly, but fresh is best, once you put a frozen rabbit on the lure, the dogs are not that interested, they show more interest if they [rabbits] have just been gutted or have a bit of blood on them.
‘‘They only need it once, the dog at least has to know there is something on the lure. It is a 100% difference in how they run, something cold on the lure coming out of the fridge is nothing to them.’’
BOB SMITH, Greyhound Racing Victoria’s (GRV) former integrity and racing operations manager
the state’s former second in charge of greyhound racing, can be seen in the footage taken at the Tooradin trial track south-east of Melbourne.
Smith has been serving on a GRV steering committee and his involvement casts serious doubt over the regulator’s claims of integrity.
ANDREW MILLS, TRAINER the former deputy chief steward for Greyhound Racing Victoria, now the regulator’s chief racing grader for the entire state
STUART MILLS, A SUCCESSFUL TRAINER AND OWNER/OPERATOR OF TOORADIN, a GRV-approved and licensed trial track.
“Yeah, look, I think the, the live baiting and, and that has certainly been clamped down on in the last five years, um, and it’s cleaned right up.”
Early the next morning, we paid Stuart Mills a visit.
(To Stuart Mills) Caro Meldrum-Hanna from Four Corners. How are you?
STUART MILLS: Yeah, not bad.
CARO MELDRUM-HANNA (to Stuart Mills): We’re just here to ask you a couple of questions.
CARO MELDRUM-HANNA: A clearly shaken Stuart Mills maintained his denials.
(To Stuart Mills) Have you been live baiting here, Stuart?
STUART MILLS: No.
CARO MELDRUM-HANNA: Why do you think they were here yesterday?
STUART MILLS: You ask them that.
CARO MELDRUM-HANNA: Did you?
STUART MILLS: Yeah.
CARO MELDRUM-HANNA: And what did they say?
Mills gets told to shut up by someone off screen and walks away
PAUL ANDERTON, TRAINER, and former steward for Greyhound Racing Victoria.
NEVILLE KING, TRAINER, and the president of Cranbourne Racing Club
DENNIS DEAN, TRAINER,
DARREN MCDONALD, PREMIER TRAINER, a Two-time Australian Greyhound Trainer of the Year; more than $4 million in prize money.
(It’s the 18th of November, 2014. Darren McDonald, dressed in a white t-shirt, attends Tooradin, carrying a hessian sack. A tiny, pink piglet is lifted out, tied down, its little legs kicking.As the mechanical lure starts up, McDonald and handler Chris Connelly appear, two greyhounds straining on leads. As they near the camera, muzzles can be made out on each dog.After two laps, the muzzles are removed. The piglet can be heard squealing as it’s mauled to death off-camera. Seventy-two hours later, Darren McDonald and his star dogs are at the annual Greyhound Melbourne Cup, the richest night on the racing calendar.)
Live possums, rabbits, piglets and other small animals are being used as live lures in training and secret trials. Some of the biggest names in greyhound racing will be shamed tonight on Four Corners. What the governing bodies could not do within their multi billion dollar industry, an animal welfare group could. On a shoestring budget they were able to discover in a few weeks. The dirty secret the hold industry knows about and ignores.Pathetic, sad, and will disgust most Aussies.
It makes a joke of this page they boast
NSW and Victorian industry awards nights set down for Friday have been postponed, as has an awards night in Queensland.
GRV has resolved to suspend any greyhound trained and/or owned by the 10 persons suspended by the board, on Friday, February 13, in relation to live baiting. The dogs will reportedly not be able to race until investigations into the allegations are completed.
GRV MOVES TO SUSPEND GREYHOUNDS
Live baiting claims a shock: racing chief Really, 5 years in the job and your shocked, you should be bloody sacked. It is common knowledge if the industry and EVERYONE turned a blind eye for decades
February 17, 2015
VICTORIA’S racing integrity commissioner believes the illegal practice of live baiting is isolated in the greyhound industry.
SAL Perna says the allegations of live baiting aired in an ABC report were a shock and he was only aware of one instance, which was disproved, in his five years in the job.
MrPerna says the extent of the practice isn’t known. “My guess is that it is isolated but I really don’t know yet,” he told reporters on Tuesday. He says he will investigate the extent of the problem.
The State Government has promised to crack down on the industry, with Racing Minister Martin Pakula labelling the live baiting practice “barbaric, abhorrent and illegal”.
RSPCA chief Dr Liz Walker said she was “stunned” Greyhound Racing Victoria’s stewards did not discover the practice, which was instead exposed by a small team of Animals Australia activists.
More than 70 greyhound trainers have been implicated in the scandal, with at least 20 people suspended from the industry across Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.
The ABC’s Four Corners program last night aired videos showing small animals squealing as they were flung around training tracks as bait.
The footage showed dogs released to chase a possum as it was flung around a racing track 26 times at high speed until it was left hanging by its spinal cord.
One well-known interstate trainer was recorded excitedly telling others to smash a baby possum’s head in.
Other injured animals were stuffed into small boxes.
Among those implicated has been two-time Australian Greyhound Trainer of the Year Darren McDonald, who was allegedly caught on camera carrying a piglet inside a sack into the Tooradin property where dogs then mauled the animal.
Also shamed was successful Victorian trainer Stuart Mills, the brother of Andrew Mills, who was a former deputy chief steward for Greyhound Racing Victoria and now the regulator’s chief racing grader.
Another former Greyhound Racing Victoria steward, Paul Aderton, who policed the industry in his former role, has also allegedly been caught training his dogs with live bait.
Mr Pakula promised to stamp out the cruel and illegal training technique.
On Monday night he announced he would be cancelling Greyhound Racing Victoria’s Industry Award Night, which was due to take place this Friday.
This is from a jurno at http://www.australianracinggreyhound.com overnight
ABC live-baiting investigation draws blood
Written By Nathan Misa 9 hours ago
- Prominent greyhound breeder and trainer and president of the United Queensland Greyhound Association Deborah Arnold allowed her 70 greyhound puppies and racing dogs at her property ‘Dessa Downes’ in Churchable to be filmed by Four Corners. “The kennels have to be RSPCA QLD-approved,” said Arnold. “It definitely meets the requirements.” When questioned on the practice of live-baiting, Arnold denied any knowledge of it: “If they do I don’t know about it, and I don’t really want to know about it.”
- Undercover footage from Animal Liberation Queensland and Animals Australia earlier filmed a training track in Churchable, Queensland, across the road from Arnold’s property. On film, it captures Arnold and her dog Dorak Des chasing a live pig on the lure while Arnold asks “what’s the quickest been today” before being informed her dog is.Arnold is later asked by Four Corners what mantra is at the forefront of greyhound racing in 2015, to which she states, “animal welfare.”
- Professor of animal behaviour and animal welfare science Paul McGreavy offered his comments on the matter of live-baiting coming from a decade of research into the breed, insisting there are breeds far more dangerous and that greyhounds are simply “chasing to catch, not to kill”. He emphasises the dogs “love racing, they love moving around that speed – they’ll be getting off on this,” and that they “are so sedentary when they’re not exposed to this stimuli.”
- Animal Liberation Queensland investigator Hailey Cotton reveals the first tip-off regarding live-baiting in Churchable was passed to her: “Their words to me were ‘something really bad is going on there,’ and they said ‘it smells like death’”.
- Undercover cameras were placed in the property of prominent Queensland trainer Tom Noble, a celebrated, award-winning greyhound trainer with almost 50 years in the game. His break-in centre is the epicenter of greyhound training in Queensland, and the live baiting footage of Deborah Arnold’s dog occurred on his track.
- More than 40 owners, trainers and handlers are recorded on camera while live baiting occurs on Tom Noble’s property. “These people are leading trainers, they’re training their dogs with these methods,” said Cotton. “They’re then going on to win races using these methods, so the whole integrity of greyhound racing is really brought into question here.”
- Footage confirms four times a week, piglets and later possums are flung around Noble’s track 26 times at high speed. The piglet is shown squealing with a man on the camera swearing at it, and one or two dogs are let loose to chase, grab and maul the possum while it’s still alive. Some 56 minutes later, the lure stops and the possum is snapped in half, the corpse still attached by its spinal cord, with the men in the footage making light of the situation.
- Discussion of dumping dead dogs is captured on film, leading the investigation to ask NSW greyhound trainer John Thompson about the issue. Animal Liberation Australia links him as the man in the footage telling others to smash a baby possum’s head in so the live baiting of its mother can begin. “They ripped the baby from the mother, they tied the mother on the lure, and they then stick the baby’s head in the sand to kill it while its mother is watching on, all the time laughing and joking on how amusing it is,” said Hailey Cotton.
- In mid-November 2014, Lyn White of Animals Australia simultaneously led an investigation at the Tooradin Trial Track in Victoria after a tip-off. Considered to be in the heart of greyhound racing territory in the state, the track is run by owner operator Stuart Mills, whose brother is Andrew Mills, former deputy chief steward for Greyhound Racing Victoria and now the regulator’s chief racing grader for the entire state.
- Lyn White reveals 17 people were captured live baiting the first time undercover footage was recorded. The first trainer identified is former steward of Greyhound Racing Victoria Paul Anderton, who arrives as Stuart Mills attaches a lure on a wooden plank with leather straps, before returning with a live rabbit and stretching it out tightly as he buckles it down flat. The rabbit is shown returning five minutes later, mauled but still alive and twitching in agony. “It tells me this is a practice that has been going for an acceptable level to trainers for years and years,” White said.
- Anderton’s dogs went on to win three races days after being captured on the footage in Tooradin. President of Cranbourne Racing Club Neville King is also filmed on camera live baiting two days before Christmas at Tooradin.
- Trainer Dennis Dean and a young girl watch as live rabbits are leashed and thrown to the dogs to kill. CEO of Greyhound Australasia Scott Parker was questioned on his thoughts of live-baiting behaviour during the revelations of the footage and the discovery of children being brought to watch while it occurs: “I think that’s ridiculous and abhorrent. I don’t support that at all. I’m not aware of it, and never heard of it, live baiting is illegal as well as being wrong and against the rules of greyhound racing.”
- Footage of dogs on the Tooradin track is shown, encouraged to savagely kill several rabbits, which are skinned or tied as they maul them.
- Former steward at Greyhound Racing Victoria Amanda Hill says there was a problem inside GRV regarding regulators failing to pick up and follow on rumours of live-baiting in the state: “Lack of resources, lack of funds, lack of knowledge, or plainly, they don’t want to accept that it’s a possibility.” She believes some trainers are “doing it to try and get an edge. It’s probably harder to get caught live baiting than what it is to using performance-enhancing drugs.”
- Hill left GRV in 2004 and became the Chair of Stewards in Greyhound Racing Tasmania, where she was able to do better in stopping live baiting. In 2008, Hill caught a female trainer red-handed live baiting a possum. Possum carcasses were found all over the track, and it remains one of two cases in the past decade where a steward has followed through and successfully convicted a live baiter.
- Hill identifies two-time Australian greyhound trainer of the year Darren McDonald as one of the figures caught on film three days before the 2014 Melbourne Cup, engaging in live baiting at Tooradin alongside handler Chris Connelly. He is shown on camera carrying a sack with a tiny pink piglet before placing it on the lure. The two men remove the muzzles on their dogs after two laps and the dogs maul the piglet, heard squealing as it dies off-camera. McDonald has since transferred all of his greyhounds to his wife’s name.
New South Wales wrap-up:
- McDonald’s top sprinter Keybow is revealed by Four Corners to have been broken in across the border in NSW at Londonderry by Zeke Kadir.
- Four Corners received a tip-off within the industry that Kadir was rumoured to be the best live baiter within the state, and that it occurred at his property as part of his training purposes. “He mentioned that he broke (in) Keybow, and he talked about how he gets live rabbits from a person he knows, and he gets about 30 a week,” a private investigator for Four Corners confirms.
- Footage shows Zeke Kadir using the rabbits tied to a hand-pushed lure, controlled by Kadir. They’re dragged along the ground at speed pursued by dogs in training. On January 12, 2015, the footage captures Ian Morgan arriving at the venue for a private session, where a native possum is strung to the lure struggling to escape as two muzzled greyhounds attempt to bite the possum. Four minutes later, the muzzles come off and the cry is captured off-screen of the possum’s demise. “I am fearful at how widespread this is, and the consequences for literally thousands of animals each year,” said Lyn White.
- Morgan is later seen removing the dead possum from his greyhound, Cee Cee Quoted. Four days later, Four Corners catches him leaving his Western Sydney home bound for an afternoon race meet in Newcastle, where Cee Cee Quoted places third. John Cauchi, of Box Hill, was also caught practising live baiting by hand.
- Four Corners notes requests for interviews with the regulators in all three states caught live-baiting were declined, deferring comment to CEO of Greyhounds Australasia Scott Parker. “I don’t suspect this is a systemic problem at all,” Parker said. “It’s illegal, abhorrent, and totally rejected by the industry.”
- When asked about how three tracks have been confirmed to have had live baiting occurring on site that have not been detected by regulators, Parker surmises “our controlling bodies do a great job, but it’s a big industry and a lot of these facilities are a long, long way away from Sydney and Melbourne and Brisbane – and that’s why compliance officers are employed to get out there.”
- In Queensland, RSPCA caught the live-baiters at Tom Noble’s establishment during their follow-up raids and saved a live piglet tied in a sack moments away from being bound and baited. Tom Noble was on-site, as well as his staff James Draws and Tony McCabe. They denied any wrong-doing despite being caught on film. RSPCA eventually found a second piglet hidden inside a shed on the property, wounded from a previous live-baiting session.
- At Tooradin, Stuart Mills was watched closely, but no animals were caught on-site. Four Corners visited him the next day of the raids, and he’s clearly shaken as he maintains his denials about live-baiting.
- Zeke Kadir’s property was visited, but he refused to answer Four Corners’ reporters on live baiting.
- Four Corners’ investigations are now a criminal matter, with state charges imminent.
- In Victoria, GRV chair Peter Caillard has welcomed a $6 million government investment for investigative resources for GRV to help detect and prevent practises such as live-baiting from occurring in the future. In addition, GRV have also announced that dead animals will no longer be allowed to assist in the training of greyhounds. “The use of live animals is already outlawed. GRV will also outlaw the use of dead animals in greyhound training whether on private premises or registered training premises,” Mr Caillard said in a press release. Caillard has also agreed to cancel the Greyhound Industry Awards night, which was to be held this Friday night, after instruction from MP Martin Pakula. The Darren McDonald-trained Sweet It Is was the frontrunner to take out the highest honour, 2014 Victorian Greyhound of the Year.
- In New South Wales, GRNSW have announced that a taskforce has been established to investigate the extent of the live-baiting practices in the state. The taskforce will be led by former High Court justice and eminent legal practitioner, the Hon. Michael McHugh AC, QC. The taskforce will look into the training methods used in NSW and will arrange for trial tracks and training facilities to be monitored. It is also set to examine whether GRNSW and relevant agencies such as the RSPCA NSW have the necessary powers to correctly investigate animal cruelty allegations. “We need to stamp out live baiting once and for all. Not only is it illegal but it is sickening and we are disgusted with what we have witnessed on air,” GRNSW CEO Brent Hogan said in a press release. “GRNSW welcomes Michael McHugh’s acceptance to head this taskforce and is committed to working closely with him and the taskforce as quickly as we can. The taskforce will help ensure that live baiting and other acts of animal cruelty identified in NSW are eradicated as quickly as possible.”
A must watch tonight on the ABC on Four Corners 8.30pm
Greyhound racing: Live baiting revelations on Four Corners to be ‘extremely damaging’ to greyhound racing industry
Australia’s greyhound racing industry is in turmoil ahead of an explosive Four Corners report, set to air tonight, that reveals conclusive evidence of live baiting.
Live baiting is the practice of using small live animals in secret greyhound training sessions.
It has been banned and criminalised for decades, but trainers and owners across the country have been using the illegal training method in the belief that it will improve a dog’s performance.
Live baiting carries substantial financial penalties and sentences of up to five years’ imprisonment. The evidence that will be broadcast tonight on the ABC could have a massive impact on the industry.
The RSPCA, in conjunction with police in NSW, Victoria and Queensland raided five properties on Wednesday last week after the Four Corners program, in conjunction with Animals Australia and Animal Liberation Queensland, confidentially handed over the results of its investigation into the sport to the state-based RSPCAs more than a fortnight ago.
Tonight in its exclusive report, Four Corners will reveal how trainers and owners across the country, working in concert with licensed trial track operators, are training their dogs using banned methods and engaging in illegal activity.
Make no mistake. This story will be explosive, emotive and extremely damaging to the future of this sport in Australia.
Greyhound Racing Victoria CEO Adam Wallish
This behaviour constitutes cheating under the laws of greyhound racing.
Tracking dogs and their trainers from private training facilities and on to official race meets and using undercover investigators to infiltrate the industry, the program has discovered the integrity of potentially thousands of races and millions of dollars in prize money is now in question.
Aware that the Four Corners program was set to air, Greyhound Racing NSW, Greyhound Racing Victoria, and Racing Queensland, the sport’s statutory regulators, moved to suspend more than 20 trainers, owners and trial track operators late last week.
In another attempt to pre-empt the program, on Sunday, Racing Queensland announced a $1 million taskforce to combat live baiting and other allegations of cruelty.
But the regulators’ attempts to act raise further serious questions about their ability to fulfil obligations and adequately police the sport in addition to carrying out their dual role as the sport’s promoter. Australians are now wagering a staggering $4 billion on the sport annually.
It is also revealed the illegal activities have remained undetected by the regulators, and makes it clear self-regulation has been a failure. At the same time, the evidence could prompt governments to reconsider their support and endorsement of the sport.
‘This story will be explosive’
In an internal memo written by Greyhound Racing Victoria (GRV) and obtained by Four Corners over the weekend, GRV’s chief executive officer Adam Wallish encouraged trainers and owners to start strategising and preparing to react publicly after the Four Corners program airs tonight.
“Make no mistake. This story will be explosive, emotive and extremely damaging to the future of this sport in Australia,” Mr Wallish wrote.
“As a group of people that love the greyhound breed we should all be shocked and outraged by the allegations in the story and prepared to fight the small minority that continue to partake in such practices jeopardising the future of the sport and indeed the future of the breed itself.”
Mr Wallish also urged the greyhound racing community to focus their anger on the wrongdoers in their sport, rather than the messenger.
“You will be emotional, you might be angry. Don’t be angry at those that attack us, regardless of their position. Be angry at those within the sport that are doing the wrong thing and undermining the values for which we stand,” he wrote.
“This time is a testing one for all of us in the industry and we need to stay resolute in our desire to exceed social standards and public expectations.
“The future of the sport and the wonderful greyhound breed necessitates it.”
Greyhound Racing Victoria has also set up a counselling telephone hotline to support those affected emotionally by the allegations. The hotline is contactable on (03) 8329 1100 and will be available from 7:30am on Tuesday morning.
The program, Making a Killing, will broadcast tonight on ABC1 at 8:30pm. Anyone with further information can contact Four Corners.
Tooradin track closed after claims greyhound trainers used live bait
MANDY SQUIRES AND RYAN REYNOLDS
FEBRUARY 15, 2015
GREYHOUND Racing Victoria has suspended 10 people and closed the Tooradin Trial Track for alleged live baiting.
The news comes in the wake of revelations a Geelong-trained greyhound tested positive for amphetamine and methamphetamine (known as ice) after a race in Warragul on January 17.
GRV has confirmed the RSPCA is investigating the Tooradin track and Racing Integrity Commissioner Sal Perna is involved.
GRV chief executive Adam Wallish said live baiting, where a dog is given a live animal to hunt down in the lead up to a race, was a criminal and abhorrent practice.
“The use of live bait in the training of greyhounds is disgusting and has no place in our sport.
Any person engaged in live baiting can expect to be disqualified and prosecuted. We have zero tolerance for these individuals,” Mr Wallish said.
“In accordance with GRV’s Animal Welfare Penalty Guidelines those responsible face a 10 year ban from the sport.”
Live baiting was a criminal offence punishable under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and attracted a jail term of up to two years and a fine of more than $30,000, he said.
“GRV takes matters of animal cruelty extremely seriously. Allegations of live-baiting are extremely disappointing and GRV supports the RSPCA and Victoria Police’s efforts to investigate any wrong-doing within the sport of greyhound racing,” Mr Wallish said.
A spokesperson for RSPCA Victoria confirmed it had executed warrants and conducted an inspection at a greyhound training facility in south-east Victoria.
The inspection had resulted in the launch of an investigation into greyhound training practices, she said.
Lara trainer Jenny Hunt said she was “gutted” and “bewildered” her dog Jubilea Bale tested positive to drugs, and planned to travel to Warragul to have “a look around”.
“I’ve asked all my employees and they all said they have nothing to do with it (ice),” Hunt said.
Greyhound Racing New South Wales also suspended five people and closed Sydney’s Box Hill Trial Track this week for alleged live baiting.
The RSPCA said anyone who had information about cruel or illegal practices in the greyhound industry should report it immediately by calling 9224 2222.
Live animals allegedly used as bait in greyhound racing
February 15, 2015
More than 20 greyhound racing dog owners and trainers across NSW, Victoria and Queensland have been suspended after a series of raids which allegedly discovered the illegal use of live animals being used to bait and lure dogs.
The shock revelations come just a year after the industry regulator NSW Greyhound Racing told a parliamentary inquiry it had no evidence that such alleged crimes were occurring in the $144 million a year industry.
The inquiry’s deputy chairman and Greens MP John Kaye at the time claimed Greyhound Racing NSW had “dodged a bullet” and issues like animal welfare and the allegations of live bait had been put in the “too-hard basket”.
Late on Thursday, Greyhound Racing NSW announced it had stood down five industry participants and one licensed trainer for alleged live baiting offences and closed down the Box Hill trial track. Victorian greyhound racing authorities also announced it had suspended 10 people for allegedly using live baits at a track in Tooradin, south-west of Melbourne.
In Queensland seven trainers have been suspended after they were allegedly about to use live pigs as bait for their dog training. Racing Queensland’s General Manager of Stewarding and Integrity Operations Wade Birch said the trainers had been stood down and their greyhounds scratched from all competition pending an investigation.
“This decision was based on further information received by Racing Queensland, the substance of which required immediate action by stewards,” said Mr Birch.
The RSPCA has been involved in raids but officials refused requests for any information. A statement released by a media spokeswoman said they “had received a number of complaints regarding animal cruelty and greyhounds, these are currently under investigation”.
Fairfax Media reported in 2013 that the illegal practice of allowing animals to be killed by greyhounds as part of their racing training was still occurring in NSW.
Problems have beset the industry over decades. As far back as 1972, newspaper reports revealed that a leading greyhound trainer and industry figure were fined and narrowly escaped jail for using a possum and a rabbit for live baiting at a track in Kellyville. The magistrate at the time said their previous good behaviour had saved them from a custodial sentence.
In 2013 there were shocking revelations at the parliamentary inquiry about the barbaric act of live baiting including details about the use of guinea pigs, rabbits, chickens, kittens and possums which have had their claws and teeth removed so they can’t hurt the dogs being mauled to death in training sessions.
“I have been told ‘anything that squeals will do’,” an industry stakeholder, whose identity has been suppressed, said in a written submission to the parliamentary inquiry.
TV vet Dr Robert Zammit had also backed up the claims in his evidence to the inquiry and RSPCA NSW chief inspector David O’Shannessy said they had also received anonymous complaints but so far they had been unable to substantiate the claims. He encouraged people to come forward with information.
Dr Kaye said on Saturday that slowly public pressure is forcing Greyhound Racing NSW to admit what most people have known for decades.
“It’s clear that live baiting still occurs and that the dogs are brutalised, and rabbits, cats and possums are being ripped apart while they are still live,” said Dr Kaye.
“Greyhound Racing NSW dismissed allegations before a NSW Upper House Committee of live baiting, claiming they lacked evidence. Suddenly, they act against five participants suspected of live baiting and one trainer with live European rabbits on his premises.
“The regulatory body had been told of possums that had their teeth and claws ripped out and that then died in terror and agony, yet they failed to act until they faced the threat of media exposure,” he said.
ABC’s Four Corners program will screen a program on Monday night about greyhound racing.
Dr Kaye said the failure to crack down on live baiting by the regulatory authority for the past six years, is another reason for stripping the industry body of its animal welfare and regulatory functions.
RESPONSES TO FOUR CORNERS
Racing Queensland’s response to Four Corners | 13 February 2015
Greyhound Racing Victoria’s response to Four Corners | 12 February 2015
Participants Stood Down With Immediate Effect | Greyhound Racing, NSW | 12 February, 2015
Letter from Adam Wallish to Clarify Issues on the Animal Welfare – Penalty Guidelines | Greyhound Racing Victoria
Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 | Victorian Government
Own motion investigation into Greyhound Racing Victoria | Victorian Ombudsman
Animal Welfare Guidelines | Greyhound Racing Victoria | 2014
Investigation into the ACT racing industry | Independent Competition and Regulatory Commission | 2011
Report on Own Motion Inquiry into Betting Activities of Racing Officials Employed by the Victorian Racing Industry | Office of the Racing Integrity Commissioner | June 2012
Animal welfare act review report and recommendations | Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries | 2013
Greyhound Racing Information | Animals Australia
Fallout spreads as industry braces for Four Corners probe | Australian Racing Greyhound | 16 February, 2015
Stewards query Kay; some finish-on-lure trials put on hold | Australian Racing Greyhound | 16 February, 2015
Greyhound racing: Live baiting revelations on Four Corners to be ‘extremely damaging’ to industry | ABC News | 16 February, 2015
Live animals allegedly used as bait in greyhound racing | Sydney Morning Herald | 15 February, 2015
Queensland sets up taskforce as greyhound racing hit with cruelty claims | Courier Mail | 15 February, 2015
Tooradin track closed after claims greyhound trainers used live bait | Geelong Advertiser | 15 February, 2015
Victorian greyhound racing authorities suspend 10 people for allegedly using live rabbits as lures | ABC News | 14 February, 2015
Queensland legend Reg Kay denies involvement in live-baiting raid | Australian Racing Greyhound | 14 February, 2015
Greyhound owners, trainers suspended | Sydney Morning Herald | 14 February, 2015
Greyhound racing industry hounded by claims of abuse | Illawarra Mercury | 1 August, 2014
Greyhound racing industry ‘dodged a bullet’ | Sydney Morning Herald | 30 March, 2014
Greyhound inquiry by NSW Parliament: committee member and Greens MP John Kaye critical of welfare inaction | ABC News | 28 March, 2014
Logan to get new greyhound racing track, at expense of Gold Coast | Brisbane Times | 16 March, 2014
NSW greyhounds boss rejects claims of cronyism, bullying | Sydney Morning Herald | 9 February, 2014
Vets claim live animals used as bait to train greyhounds | Sydney Morning Herald | 24 November, 2013
Greyhound racing industry denies claims of widespread animal doping | ABC News | 16 October, 2013
Greyhound racing industry hit with doping, cruelty, collusion allegations | 7.30 | 16 October, 2013
The unbearable lightness of being a greyhound | The Conversation | 2 December, 2012
The quick and the dead | Background Briefing | 11 November, 2012
Allegations of doping in greyhound racing industry | 9 November 2012
Hounded to death | Sydney Morning Herald | 25 October, 2004