OPINION: Don't let this sport go to the dogs

LAST month I was out at the Ipswich dogs and I noticed an ABC camera crew at the track shooting footage for an upcoming story.

I was told it was for a special report they were planning to do on the greyhound racing industry.

I wasn't surprised by that, because I know there was a small group of people who detest the sport and who constantly lobby media organisations for publicity.

Even though I knew the story was coming, I wasn't prepared for what I saw on Monday night.

My father had greyhounds and as a teenager I watched them getting blooded on live rabbits. That was many years ago and I thought the practice had long since disappeared.

The sickening vision that was aired by Four Corners on Monday night shows that urgent action needs to be taken in the industry.

But while those barbaric trainers who still do this need to be caught, banned for life and punished, the sport itself should not.

Thousands of Australians are involved in greyhound racing and the sport has reinvented itself in recent years through smart marketing and promotions.

Locally, the Ipswich track has been part of this comeback and they were rightly feeling proud of all their positive work.

Yesterday at the track, a pall hung over the small crowd of owners and trainers. They all felt as though they had been let down and their image tarnished by a small minority.

It is now in the hands of those doing the right thing to weed out the cheats.

If they stay silent and turn a blind eye, there is every chance that the sound of the lure will also fall silent.

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