By CAM LUCADOU-WELLS
AN ANIMAL rights investigator who helped capture damning footage of greyhound live baiting has called for the safety of the dogs which have been suspended.
Animals Australia chief investigator Lyn White has said greyhound racing should be stopped until the sport’s integrity can be proven.
Ms White feared for the dogs’ welfare – now that they didn’t return a “financial dividend”.
“Those dogs have to be at extreme risk. It’s known from statistics that 18,000 (greyhound) dogs are killed each year – they may be puppies or retired dogs. They are dealt with in quite a ruthless way.
“Greyhound Racing Victoria has the capacity in spending to rehabilitate and re-home these dogs, rather than them being killed.
“It would be the best thing for GRV to do from a PR perspective.”
GRV greyhound welfare manager Dr Linda Beer said the welfare of suspended greyhounds was “a priority of the highest order”.
“GRV has communicated with the registered persons currently responsible for these greyhounds, and GRV stewards and compliance officers will monitor the situation closely during the period of suspension.
“GRV is working closely with the RSPCA during the course of this investigation.”
Ms White said live-baiting was systemic, confirmed by the former GRV staffers, leading trainers and respected veterans implicated in the live-baiting ring as well as chatter on greyhound forums and talkback radio this week.
This is at odds with GRV’s stated opinion that the Tooradin ring was isolated.
“How can GRV suggest the practice isn’t systemic when they haven’t been able to detect it in the first place?” Ms White said.
“No other code would continue in this situation. It’s a matter of racing integrity.”
Ms White took aim at GRV for failing to detect live-baiting at Tooradin.
“They clearly had information on Tooradin, judging by all of the inspections they’ve done recently.
“You have a regulator with such a conflict of interest – they are promoting the industry and bearing the responsibility of determining trainer illegality and immoral behaviour.”
Ms White was confident the Tooradin track footage filmed on cameras “on public land” and on the track would withstand legal challenge.
“I’m really pleased that clearly the Australian community is as outraged and shocked as we were.”