The State Liberals have introduced legislation into Parliament to strengthen regulation of the greyhound racing industry to reduce the likelihood of live baiting in the training of the dogs.
“Recent shocking revelations of the use of live animals to ‘blood’ greyhounds as part of their training requires a decisive response to the possibility of live coursing in the greyhound racing industry in South Australia,” said Shadow Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation.
The Animal Welfare (Greyhound Training) Bill will require Bullrings* to be licenced, introduce penalties for operating an unlicensed Bullring and make it easier to prosecute anyone caught using live bait to train dogs.
Under the changes a person operating an unlicenced Bullring for greyhound training faces a penalty of $10,000 or imprisonment for 1 year, a person taking part in live coursing faces a penalty of $50,000 or imprisonment for 4 years and a person who supplies an animal knowing it will be used as live bait faces a $20,000 penalty or 2 years imprisonment.
The recent Four Corners report on live baiting in the greyhound industry on the Eastern seaboard featured live a greyhound being blooded in a Bullring.
“Industry insiders have approached the State Liberals saying that bull rings had previously been used to blood greyhounds and that if live baiting was continuing to occur in South Australia it would most likely be happening in bull rings.
“Requiring the licencing of Bullrings will provide a register of that will enable regular and effective inspection of these facilities by Greyhound Racing SA and the RSPCA.
“I have no doubt that the majority of greyhound trainers in South Australia do the right thing and do not use live animals as bait in the training of their dogs.
“Unfortunately the Four Corners report confirms a rogue element still operates in certain sections of the industry and we need to send them a very strong message that cruelty to animals will not be tolerated.”
*Bullrings are enclosed circular greyhound training facilities surrounded by a fence and usually having a pole in the centre to which a rotating arm is attached from which a lure can be trailed.