Club president vouches for local dog trainers
TWO NORTHERN Rivers greyhound trainers named in the greyhound live baiting scandal engulfing the industry have not raced dogs at Grafton for at least two years.
Grafton Greyhound Racing Club president trainer John Corrigan said leading trainer John Thompson - who was shown in film on Monday night's 4 Corners program, which broke the story - had not raced in Grafton since July 2013.
"I thought the other bloke named, Steve Sherwell, came from Brisbane, but obviously he must have raced in the Northern Rivers. But never here, to my knowledge," he said.
Mr Corrigan said the vision on the 4 Corners program of dogs ripping apart animals tied to lures had sickened him.
"It shocked everyone here and made me feel sick in the guts," he said.
Mr Corrigan said the revelations had taken the industry back to the 1920s and '30s when there was live hare coursing.
"We thought it (the industry) was heading in the right direction. "This has been a huge shock for everyone around here," he said.
Mr Corrigan said local trainers did not have access to trial tracks, which was where the live baiting in the program had occurred.
"The nearest trial track to here is at Casino," he said.
Mr Corrigan said local trainers used the track at Grafton to trial their dogs.
"They wouldn't be stupid enough to do anything like that here," he said.
Mr Corrigan said he still doubted live baiting actually made dogs run faster.
"I know the program found a lot of high-level trainers were using it, but I think there's more to it," he said.
"They're not running around with slow dogs to start with."