Greyhound Racing Victoria (GRV) is disgusted by footage of criminal live baiting aired by the ABC’s Four Corners program today.
GRV Chair Peter Caillard condemned the practice of live baiting conducted at a private Tooradin facility.
“I watched and was sickened. The use of live bait in the training of greyhounds is abhorrent 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 Caillard said.
“As soon as the allegations were brought to our attention we immediately suspended the individuals involved. GRV has already commenced an investigation and we look forward to the involvement of the Racing Integrity Commissioner in that investigation. It must not happen again,” he said.
Mr Caillard said GRV welcomes the involvement of the Chief Veterinary Officer to review the animal welfare aspects of this criminal activity, as announced by Minister for Racing Martin Pakula and Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford.
Mr Caillard refuted allegations in the program that the practice is widespread in Victoria.
“To the best of our knowledge, this disgusting and illegal behaviour is isolated in Victoria to the privately owned training facility at Tooradin,” Mr Caillard said.
Mr Caillard welcomed the government announcement of increased investment in investigative resources for GRV to help detect and prevent such practices from recurring. GRV will match the government’s funding for a total of $6 million.
“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 announced
“We are determined to hold these criminals to account. Under GRV penalty guidelines, anyone involved in live baiting can expect to face bans of up to ten years. We will also do everything we can to assist the RSPCA in their prosecutions, which could result in a two-year jail term and/or fines of up to $30,000,” Mr Caillard said.
“There is no place for live baiting in Victorian greyhound racing. We want people found to have engaged in these practices not just excluded from our sport but prosecuted with the full force of the law,” he said.