INDUSTRY BODIES INCAPABLE OF DEALING WITH GREYHOUND CORRUPTION
27th March 2017
Humane Society International (HSI) Australia says reports yesterday of doping and race-fixing cartels in NSW and ACT greyhound racing show that the industry is fraught with corruption and incapable of the reforms needed to ensure the protection of greyhounds from cruel and inhumane treatment. The animal charity says the legislation to enact a ban on greyhound racing in NSW from this July should remain in place.
“Reports in yesterday’s media say Greyhounds NSW has been aware of race fixing cartels for years and will not confirm whether matters have been referred to the police. Meanwhile, the ACT Gaming and Racing Commission has a new investigation underway into dog doping to fix races. There are concerns investigations could be hampered by trainers who refuse to sign off on swabs for their dogs claiming a new policy to provide dogs water in their kennels could increase the risk of accidental drug contamination,” says Nicola Beynon, Head of Campaigns with HSI.
“It all paints a picture of a rotten industry undeserving of the second chance it has been given,” said Ms Beynon.
The latest investigation centres on a winning dog who should never have raced because they had been stood down. The winning dog was cleared for drugs but the under performing dog, who was favourite to win, was never checked.
Dogs are given drugs to speed them up and slow them down to skew races. Drugs used include cocaine, amphetamines, cobalt and EPO (Erythropoietin).
“Prolonged use of these drugs can cause long term adverse health impacts for the dogs. In the short term there can be acute impacts, sometimes with dogs suffering fatal heart attacks”, says former greyhound industry vet Greg Bryant.
“Industry bodies are not running the checks they should to ensure the safety of dogs before they race and they are turning a blind eye to corruption,” says Ms Beynon. “HSI has long called for the introduction of sniffer dogs at greyhound racing tracks to crack down on illegal drug use but our recommendation has not been taken up.”
Furthermore, there has been a downgrading of a penalty for NSW greyhound trainer Melinda Finn who has had her suspension reduced by almost a decade despite being found guilty of doping her dogs with a potentially lethal performance-enhancing drug.
“The downgrading of the ban for the trainer clearly demonstrates the Tribunal is not serious about cracking down on doping in the industry, and this is shocking considering the potentially lethal drugs given to the greyhounds involved,” says Ms Beynon.
With all the dirty dealings and corruption that the industry is known for, these reports are hardly surprising. But one thing is for sure – the animal welfare problems will continue unless the ban goes ahead this July. HSI is urging the public to write to Premier Gladys Berejiklian to ask her to keep the ban.