Are NSW greyhound trainers escaping police prosecution for illegal drug use?
Humane Society International (HSI) has discovered that it seems no provision is in place for referring greyhound racing trainers who are involved in illegal drug use to the NSW Police, or to the judicial system. Each State regulatory body, including Greyhound Racing New South Wales (GRNSW), operate under the Australasian Greyhound Rules. The ‘local rules’ prevail over the Australasian ones and should take the applicable state legislation into account.
Although the RSPCA have the power to prosecute, their responsibility is purely for the welfare of the dogs. These shocking findings mean that cases where greyhound trainers use illegal drugs on their dogs may effectively escape police prosecution altogether because the police are never informed.
The Stewards' reports and the documents of evidence from the Special Commission of Inquiry detail a number of cases where trainers were caught possessing and using illegal drugs on animals in an effort to enhance performance. These drugs include cocaine, methamphetamine (ice), testosterone, Erythropoietin (EPO) and amphetamines.
Last week Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party MLC Robert Borsak argued that if this was the case, then it would have been dealt with by the authorities a long time ago. He commented, “animal rights theology is a very dangerous set of ideas because it puts the value of the animals and their life above those of humans and their rights.” Contrary to these beliefs, HSI advocates for the welfare of both animals and people, protecting all living things from cruelty and neglect. With the reports of drug use and trafficking running rife throughout the greyhound racing industry, that presents a serious risk for the welfare of both the dogs and people involved.
HSI Director Verna Simpson said, “It looks like there’s a serious loophole in the system here and we want to ensure that the NSW Police are made aware of these cases so that those offending these crimes are brought to justice. If they have been escaping police prosecution for so long, it’s no wonder the industry attracts so much criminal activity. The new Greyhound Reform Advisory Panel established since the ban was reversed, should also investigate this and be reporting illegal substance use to the police.”
The majority of the Australian public have been horrified by the news reports over the past 18 months exposing the realities of the New South Wales greyhound racing industry with revelations of live baiting, mass graves, the killing of thousands of healthy dogs, money laundering, drug trafficking, race fixing, death threats and criminal activity. This new revelation only adds to the evidence that it is an industry fraught with illegal activities way beyond cruelty to dogs and both the government and police need to take urgent action.