Victorian greyhound identity Anthony Mills has been handed a life ban from racing after being found guilty of live baiting.
The Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board handed down its decision on Wednesday after finding Mr Mills guilty at an earlier hearing.
He is the second person to be given a life ban in the wake of February’s Four Corners program, which aired shocking vision of trainers using live pigs, possums and rabbits to train their dogs.
Trainer Christopher Connolly was handed a life ban a fortnight ago after being caught on camera using a piglet to excite a greyhound at the Tooradin Trial Track, south-east of Melbourne.
Mills is a highly regarded figure in Victoria’s greyhound racing industry.
In 2013 he was awarded the industry’s highest honour, the Ken Carr medal, for services to the greyhound industry in a career that has spanned four decades.
In handing down its verdict, the board described live baiting as barbaric and abhorrent and said Mills’s involvement in the practice warranted a life ban.
“There can be no place in the industry for persons – particularly of Mr Anthony Mills’s background and repute – who actively participate in this vile practice,” the board said.
Mills’s son, Stuart, is the owner of the Tooradin track where widespread live baiting occurred.
A total of 17 Victorian trainers were suspended by Greyhound Racing Victoria (GRV) for live baiting at the trial track, eight have been charged.
The RSPCA is also conducting a criminal investigation into what occurred at Tooradin, but no charges have been laid.
Mills ‘karate chopped’ rabbit to death
Prior to finding Mills guilty on June 4, the board was shown vision of him using a live rabbit to train a greyhound in November last year.
The vision showed the unmuzzled greyhound biting the live rabbit at the conclusion of its training run.
GRV’s chief steward Glenn Fish described how the lure was moved back and forth by Mr Mills to excite the dog as it mauled the rabbit.
The board heard Mills was helping to train the greyhound of another GRV-registered trainer, John Roberts.
At the end of the training session, Mills was seen striking the injured rabbit’s neck three times to kill it in what one member of the board described as a “karate chop”.
Vision from January was also played to the board which showed Mr Mills operating the mechanical lure at the Tooradin Trial Track as his son, Stuart, and another man, Lawrence Cunningham, used a live rabbit and a white piglet to train several greyhounds.
Stuart Mills has not been charged by stewards for his role in the live baiting.
The trial track at the centre of the live baiting scandal has been put up for sale.