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Ipswich trainers shocked at live-baiting revelations

UPDATE, 3PM: Ipswich greyhound trainers say they are appalled at the live-baiting practices revealed on Monday night's Four Corners program, and want to see offenders kicked out of the sport.

Trainers, including former Ipswich Greyhound Racing Club president Rob Essex, say that while the revelations will be damaging in the short term, they should also result in a much-needed clean-up of the industry.

The Ipswich race meeting is the first to take place in Queensland since Monday night's Four Corners program, which revealed the widespread use of live rabbits, piglets and possums to bait racing dogs.

Lockyer Valley trainer Tom Noble was implicated in the live-baiting story, along with several high profile owners and trainers across the country.

Racing Queensland this morning confirmed that seven Queensland trainers were among the 22 suspended from the sport nationally, pending further investigation.

The RSPCA is still conducting its own investigations into live-baiting, with a view to laying charges in the near future.

Independent politician Andrew Wilkie has also entered the fray, calling for an immediate suspension of the industry in the wake of live-baiting allegations.

"Self-regulation has clearly failed and governments must take over the regulation of the greyhound industry if the public is to have any confidence in its integrity and animal-welfare standards," he said.

"Many people quite rightly find the whole notion of greyhound racing abhorrent, not least because 18,000 dogs are destroyed annually just because they can't run fast enough. Frankly I think the so-called sport should be banned outright."

RSPCA officers raid greyhound trainer Tom Noble's property in Churchable.
RSPCA officers raid greyhound trainer Tom Noble's property in Churchable.

 

 

12PM: An added police presence is expected at this afternoon's Ipswich Greyhound meeting, with the possibility of animal rights protestors attending.

Additional media are also expected to be at the Showgrounds following Monday night's Four Corners program, which revealed the widespread use of live rabbits, piglets and possums to bait racing dogs.

Lockyer Valley trainer Tom Noble was implicated in the live-baiting story, along with several high profile owners and trainers across the country.

Racing Queensland this morning confirmed that seven Queensland trainers were among the 22 suspended from the sport nationally, pending further investigation.

The RSPCA is still conducting its own investigations into live-baiting, with a view to laying charges in the near future.

 

11AM: The RSCPA has revealed they raided the property of a prominent local greyhound trainer last week after receiving the shocking footage of live-baiting which was aired on ABC's Four Corners last night.

RSPCA Queensland Inspectors and veterinarians last week raided respected trainer Tom Noble's property following information provided by Animal Liberation Queensland and Animals Australia.

"The greyhound industry has always maintained that this practice had been stamped out but that blatantly isn't true," RSPCA Qld CEO Mark Townend said.

 "The pictures and the audio point to the fact that blooding is basically regarded as essential to produce a winning dog. It's deeply entrenched and probably widespread."

The RSPCA made their comments public a day after the program in which another prominent Churchable greyhound racing owner denied there was a widespread problem in the industry.

Deborah Arnold, president of the United Queensland Greyhounds Association and a prominent trainer and breeder allowed Four Corners to film her property at Dessa Downs and she told the ABC her kennels had to be RSPCA QLD-approved.

She also denied knowledge of live-baiting.

"If they do I don't know about it, and I don't really want to know about it," Ms Arnold told the ABC.

However Ms Arnold is apparently contradicted by undercover footage which Animal Liberation Queensland and Animals Australia took at a training track near her property.

On film, it captures Ms Arnold chatting with Mr Noble as her dog chases a live piglet.

Ms Arnold is later asked by Four Corners what mantra is at the forefront of greyhound racing in 2015, to which she states, "animal welfare."

Animal Liberation Queensland investigator Hailey Cotton said she was tipped off about live-baiting in Churchable.

"Their words to me were 'something really bad is going on there,' and they said 'it smells like death'," she said.

Animal Liberation Queensland placed undercover cameras at the property of Mr Noble, an award-winning greyhound trainer with almost 50 years in the game, whose break-in centre is the epicenter of greyhound training in Queensland.

The ABC report said more than 40 owners, trainers and handlers were recorded on camera while live baiting occurred on Tom Noble's property.

Ms Cotton said they were all leading trainers.

"They're training their dogs with these methods," she said.

"They're then going on to win races using these methods, so the whole integrity of greyhound racing is really brought into question here."

Topics:  churchable editors picks greyhounds live baiting


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