A message from GRNSW to members -
On Monday night, Four Corners will air a program on the national greyhound industry.
From what GRNSW understands, the program will primarily deal with integrity and welfare, with a particular focus on the abhorrent and barbaric practice of live baiting.
There is likely to be additional allegations about widespread cheating including drug use and race-fixing. The euthanasia of healthy young dogs and the welfare of our greyhounds will also be examined. The angle is likely to be that there is now more money than ever in the sport of greyhound racing and people within it will do whatever it takes, no matter what the consequence for these poor animals, to get a slice of the financial benefits.
Last Wednesday, as many of you would know, there were simultaneous raids conducted by the RSPCA and police in three states and shocking allegations of live-baiting have surfaced as a result. GRNSW, nor any of the other state controlling bodies, were aware of the raids prior to them taking place. It is not a coincidence that Four Corners has been developing this story and these raids have taken place just days before the program is due to air.
It goes without saying that the practice of live-baiting is not welcome in this sport. Not only is it a breach of greyhound racing rules, it is a criminal offence punishable under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and can attract a jail term of up to two-years and a fine of up to $22,000.
Following the raids, GRNSW immediately stood down the five people targeted by the RSPCA as well as another participant who was the subject of a GRNSW led inspection. This reflects the zero tolerance GRNSW and the majority of those in the industry have against people who engage in acts such as live baiting.
It is extremely disappointing that there are still people in this sport that partake in this practice or are complicit in its continuation. GRNSW has been very clear that community standards regarding the treatment of animals have changed significantly over the years and it is disappointing that some in this sport have not moved with the times.
Given the events of the last few days, mainstream media have already run stories on the greyhound racing industry. These will continue to increase in the coming days and possibly weeks, depending on the magnitude of the allegations.
Make no mistake. This story will be explosive, emotive and extremely damaging to the future of this sport in Australia.
In response, GRNSW will be making an announcement in the coming days about the establishment of an independent taskforce which will investigate training methods used by trainers in NSW, arrangements for the control, supervision and registration of trial tracks, breaking-in centres and training facilities, whether GRNSW and relevant agencies have the necessary powers to properly investigate allegations of animal cruelty and the resourcing at GRNSW to ensure it is appropriate to fulfil functions with respect to integrity and welfare.
We will also highlight the good work the industry does and the tremendous progress we have made in the areas of animal welfare, integrity and re-homing.
As a group of people that purport to 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.
You may be emotional, you will be angry. Do not 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 providing the ammunition to attack all of us.
If you have any information regarding animal cruelty within the NSW greyhound racing industry, you should contact GRNSW immediately on (02) 8767 0500 and ask to talk to the GRNSW Welfare and Compliance Unit.
This time is a testing one for all in the industry and we need to stay resolute in our desire to conduct ourselves in a manner that is compliant with social standards and expectations. The future of the sport and the wonderful greyhound breed necessitates it.