A mass grave of greyhounds has been dug up at the western Sydney property of a licensed and registered dog trainer.
Nine dead dogs were found buried together in a shallow grave at Marsden Park, RSPCA New South Wales said on Thursday.
A dozen starving and sick live dogs were also surrendered, taking the total number of dead and sick dogs found at the property to 21.
Last Sunday marked the second anniversary of former premier Mike Baird’s greyhound ban, which he controversially overturned months later.
Greens NSW animal spokesperson Mehreen Faruqi said the discovery made it clear the industry has not reformed.
This is not yet another bad apple.”
But Racing Minister Paul Toole said only a “small minority” of the industry engaged in “cruel and corrupt” conduct.
The dead dogs and nine of the sick dogs were uncovered last Tuesday. The remaining three sick dogs were seized on Monday.
Three senior RSPCA NSW inspectors spent hours digging up the shallow grave of greyhounds.
“These greyhounds were bred for and then discarded by the racing industry,” the animal welfare group said.
Warning: Distressing photographs
RSPCA veterinarians are treating the 12 living greyhounds for varying medical conditions including emaciation, severe dental disease, internal parasites, fleas, pressure sores and overgrown nails.
The Marsden Park trainer is being investigated for alleged serious animal cruelty offences by the RSPCA and Greyhound Welfare Integrity Commission (GWIC), which launched last week.
GWIC said investigations were ongoing and no further comment could be made.
Mr Toole said the allegations were “extremely serious”.
“There is zero tolerance for such abhorrent behaviour and those who engage in it can expect to be removed from the industry and face criminal prosecution.”
He said government reforms included unprecedented investigative, surveillance and enforcement powers to target offenders.
New penalties for animal cruelty include lifetime bans and up to five years in jail.
“The government has been fortunate to appoint high-calibre people to the [GWIC] commission, and a lot of preparatory work has gone into ensuring the commission can immediately exercise its powers as an effective regulator,” he told The New Daily in a statement.
“Our message to the small minority of industry participants who continue to engage in cruel and corrupt conduct is clear – you will be caught and face severe consequences.”
Dr Faruqi said nothing had changed and the “second chance given to the industry was a huge mistake”.
“This is evidence of continued systemic cruelty and disregard for animal welfare,” Dr Faruqi said.
“The images [released by RSPCA] are absolutely gruesome and show the consequences of an industry that treat animals as disposable commodities, to be discarded once they stop turning a profit.”
The New Daily has contacted Labor’s shadow racing minister Michael Daley.