Call for greyhound racing ban over live bait scandal as trainer is suspended and ‘could face criminal prosecution’ after raid
- Coach and Member of Racing Industry Suspended Immediately
- Evidence of decoy and baiting was found near Geelong, Victoria
- The deputy has called for a sports ban
A live bait scandal has erupted in the Victorian greyhound racing industry, prompting renewed calls for the sport to be banned.
A greyhound trainer and a fellow registered industry member were immediately suspended Tuesday after a targeted inspection of a property in Lara, near Geelong, found evidence of decoy and baiting.
Investigations continue, but Greyhound Racing Victoria CEO Stuart Laing warned the pair could face criminal charges for the violations.
“The industry has zero tolerance for baiting crimes that not only impact animal welfare but also undermine the integrity of the sport and damage the reputation of the greyhound racing industry,” he said in a statement.
Victoria scandal will bring back bad memories of live bait evidence uncovered by the ABC in 2015 (pictured)
Four Corners has discovered shocking footage of live animals being attached to mechanical decoys for greyhounds to hunt (pictured)
“Our greyhound racing integrity unit is extremely vigilant and will investigate allegations and evidence and take appropriate action, including consideration of possible criminal breaches of the Victoria’s Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 and breaches of the racing rules.”
Animal Justice Party MP Georgie Purcell, who was involved in a parliamentary inquiry in the Victorian state that last week recommended a ban on recreational duck shooting from next year, said she was not surprised by the discovery.
“With such an inadequate and erratic compliance plan – how many more.” [properties] remain unaudited,” she wrote on social media.
‘Shut it down.’
A Victorian MP for the Animal Justice Party has called for the sport to be banned after the results of the inspection in Victoria were announced (stock image)
In 2015, the ABC show Four Corners uncovered live bait on railroad tracks in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.
It featured vivid footage of small animals tied to mechanical decoys which were used by greyhounds to chase, trap and devastate them.
The scheme led to several state inquiries and prompted the New South Wales government to announce it would ban greyhound racing in the state before former Liberal Prime Minister Mike Baird reversed the decision.
Victoria decided against a ban in favor of sweeping reforms and a new integrity model.
This comes after former Victorian Police Chief Graham Ashton was recently tasked with leading an independent inquiry into South Australian greyhound racing after footage was released showing a trainer kicking and hitting a dog.