Why is the greyhound industry squealing to keep piglets, if not for live baiting?
Humane Society International wants to know why the greyhound industry is lobbying for piglets to be allowed at greyhound training tracks.
"Piglets are a favourite animal used for live baiting greyhounds because of their squeal,” said Nicola Beynon, Humane Society International Head of Campaigns.
The Morris Iemma Review Panel report into the greyhound racing industry, released yesterday, recommends a ban on the keeping of small animals at all greyhound racing tracks to help enforce the ban on live baiting.
However, the report says there was disagreement over whether there should be an exemption for piglets with the greyhound industry representative arguing that piglets should be allowed at greyhound racing tracks. The report therefore gives an option where piglets can be allowed at tracks where the primary purpose of the property was the production of pigs at the time of the requirement commencing.
"Why is that?” asks Ms Beynon.
"It would be an obvious loophole to make it easier for the industry to continue live baiting. Premier Berejiklian and Minister Paul Toole should be very concerned.
“South Australian rules for greyhound racing ban the keeping of all small animals - alive or dead - with no exceptions. It is important that live or dead is specified because it may only be dead animals that will be found by inspectors after their ordeal as live bait is over. The RSPCA representative on the Iemma review panel argued for a ban on the keeping of small animals with no exemptions.
“It is telling to recall the words of a defence lawyer just last week. When defending a greyhound trainer convicted of using a piglet as live bait, he said, “He was fitting in with the standard that was well in place”.*
"The industry can't help itself. Why is it so difficult to keep greyhounds separated from piglets, given they are commonly used as lures for live baiting?
"If the industry is incapable of recognising this as a problem, then it’s evidence enough that it has absolutely no willingness or capacity to reform. The industry also appears to be resisting a recommendation for CCTV on private greyhound tracks. The Review Panel report reveals disagreement over whether CCTV should be mandatory at all private trial tracks.
“The report says “The installation of CCTV has the potential to reduce the risk of live baiting at private trials tracks and can provide oversight of training practices. However, we were unable to agree on the circumstances where CCTV should be required. Two options were put forward”.
“Industry will need to convince the Premier and Minister they are not resisting CCTV so that live baiting can be hidden from the cameras. CCTV must be mandatory at all tracks and footage must be stored for 3 months.
"Humane Society International says Premier Berejiklian should heed some very loud warning bells in the report that live baiting is going to continue.
"Mike Baird’s original instinct to ban the greyhound industry as beyond reform was correct. The legislation to ban greyhound racing on July 1 should not be repealed,” concluded Ms Beynon.