OPINION: Rumour dogs the industry

OPINION, by Tim Howard:

BY THE time you read this, the ABC Four Corners program Making a Killing will have aired and you may have read local greyhound boss John Corrigan's views on live baiting.

Mr Corrigan says he has never run across the practice where a greyhound is encouraged to kill a small live animal as part of its training in his 35 years training and administering the sport in the Valley.

While the North Coast may well be a haven for well-run greyhound racing and compliant owners and trainers, it would appear many other areas in Australia are not.

Media reports say that ahead of the Four Corners program, Greyhound Racing NSW, Greyhound Racing Victoria and Racing Queensland, the sport's statutory regulators, moved to suspend more than 20 trainers, owners and trial track operators late last week.

In Victoria the Tooradin Trial Track, an establishment run by Stuart Mills has had its registration suspended.

The Mills name is synonymous with greyhound racing in Victoria. Stuart Mills's father Tony was the 2013 winner of the Ken Carr Medal, the highest award for excellence within the Victorian greyhound industry

In another attempt to pre-empt the program, on Sunday Racing Queensland announced a $1 million taskforce to combat live baiting and other allegations of cruelty.

With Australians now wagering around $4billion annually on the sport, there is scepticism regulators are able to fulfil obligations to promote the sport as well as police it.

Mr Corrigan has rightly condemned the practice. We can only hope he is also right in saying live baiting is not done here.

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