Victorian, New South Wales & Queensland Inquiries into Greyhound Racing

On 17 February 2015, the day following the Four Corners program exposing the live-baiting scandal that rocked the national greyhound racing industry, the Victorian Racing Integrity Commissioner announced an inquiry into the live baiting allegations, and the Victorian Government announced a broader investigation into the greyhound racing industry by its Chief Veterinary Officer.  On 11 March, the Racing Integrity Commissioner delivered an interim report to Government that found, among other things, that it would be naive to assume that live baiting practices were not being carried out at training facilities in Victoria other than the Tooradin Trial track discussed in the Four Corners program, and that, on the balance of probabilities, Greyhound Racing Victoria could not have been expected to know about live baiting practices given their purportedly limited investigation powers.

The Racing Integrity Commissioner proposes to deliver his final report on 30 April 2015.

Following Victoria’s lead, the NSW Government announced on 4 March 2015 the establishment of a Special Commission of Inquiry into the State’s greyhound racing industry to investigate animal welfare and integrity issues.  This announcement came after the entire board of Greyhound Racing NSW was sacked by the Minister for Racing.

Queensland has now followed suit, announcing on 10 April 2015 the establishment of a Commission of Inquiry into the Queensland greyhound racing industry, to be headed by Barrister Alan MacSporran.   Its terms of reference can be found here, and include “the regulatory arrangements for the protection of animal welfare of racing dogs and other animals, including the extent of live-baiting practices in Queensland.”

This announcement follows the discovery of the mass-killing of 55 greyhounds in bushland near Bundaberg, Queensland, for which two people have been charged with more arrests possible.  So far, however, Queensland greyhound racing officials have remained in office, with Racing Queensland’s general manager of stewards and integrity operations returning to work on 21 April 2015 after being stood down temporarily.

Given evidence of past and present practices across the national greyhound racing industry, Lawyers for Animals considers this industry is unlikely to meet the public’s expectations of decent and ethical treatment of animals. Lawyers for Animals calls for laws prohibiting animal cruelty to be properly enforced against greyhound trainers and racing venue operators, and for greyhound racing to be phased-out throughout Australia.

Leave a Reply

Battery Hens

Australia is home to over ten million egg-laying hens, 90% of whom are held in battery cages.

Battery hens live in a space smaller than a sheet of A4 paper, restricting any freedom to express natural behaviours.

Numerous European countries – including Germany, Austria and Sweden – have banned battery cages, and the EU has a total ban set for 2012.

Unfortunately, Australian politicians have not followed this global shift.


THE LAW

More Issues