Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) has announced the establishment of a taskforce with wide ranging powers to investigate the extent of live baiting within the NSW greyhound racing industry.
It follows the broadcast of horrific vision on the ABC involving live baiting and animal cruelty on greyhound training tracks across Australia in recent months.
The taskforce will be headed by former High Court justice and eminent legal practitioner, the Hon. Michael McHugh AC, QC. It will examine training methods in NSW and arrangements for the supervision of trial tracks and training facilities.
The taskforce will also investigate whether GRNSW and relevant agencies – such as RSPCA NSW – have the necessary powers to properly investigate allegations of animal cruelty.
GRNSW Chief Executive Brent Hogan said he was disgusted with the images shown and hoped those featured in tonight’s program were punished to the full extent of the law.
“There is no place whatsoever for animal cruelty of any kind in our sport. Animal cruelty is totally unacceptable and anyone found guilty of a cruelty offence is not welcome in the sport,” Mr Hogan said.
“Live baiting is a cruel, abhorrent and archaic practice and anyone found engaging in this act needs to be punished to the full extent of the law.
“Live baiting is illegal under the Greyhound Racing Rules as well as the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. Anyone found guilty of the offence facing up to five years in jail and a $22,000 fine under the Act.
“GRNSW stewards have immediately opened an investigation into the NSW participants shown engaging in these dreadful acts of animal cruelty. We have already stood down six participants – some of whom were shown on tonight’s program – following RSPCA NSW raids last week, with another registered trainer also being stood down following a random GRNSW inspection.
“GRNSW has been proactively investigating claims of live baiting and has referred a number of cases to RSPCA NSW in recent months. GRNSW works in close cooperation with RSPCA NSW on these matters.”
Mr Hogan said it was deeply unfortunate that the actions of a minority had once again put the great sport of greyhound racing in such a negative light.
“Tonight’s Four Corners program did not reflect the actions of the majority involved in the sport and the tremendous progress the industry has made in the areas of animal welfare, integrity and eradicating animal cruelty in recent years,” he said.
“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 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.”
Original Article – GRNSW Responds To Four Corners Program Written by: GRNSW