The cleaning up of the NSW greyhound racing industry has escalated with the governing board standing down and trainers involved in live baiting facing criminal charges.
The shocking revelations of live baiting aired on ABC’s Four Corners this week have rocked the industry with NSW Deputy Premier Troy Grant vowing to uncover how the “horrifying” practice had occurred.
“This is an industry that is currently on its knees,” he said.
“(We) need to get on the job of repairing the industry.”
He said it generated $300 million and employed thousands of people.
Ten people in NSW, including eight trainers, have been stood down and could face charges over allegations they were involved in “blooding” greyhounds.
A further six people are under investigation.
The board of Greyhound Racing NSW agreed to step down on Wednesday with interim chief executive Paul Newson taking over until a review is completed.
Mr Newson is currently the head of the NSW Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing.
The TV footage aired this week showed trainers tying live piglets, rabbits and possums to mechanical lures before they were mauled by the dogs.
“There has been innuendo and a blight on this industry about animal welfare concerns for a significant amount of time,” said Mr Grant, who is also the Minister for Racing.
“There hasn’t been the proof or the evidence that we now have.”
But Racing NSW chief executive Peter V’Landys said the former management of Greyhound Racing NSW just didn’t have the will to hunt down offenders.
“There is no credible excuse, they must have known what was going on,” he said.
“They basically allowed people to do what they like.”
Mr V’Landys said the scandal had shown gaps in the industry’s rules with regulators not able to launch surprise inspections on private properties, unlike the horse racing industry.
“This was a double whammy, it was about the welfare of the greyhounds and the integrity of the sport,” he said.
“It gives those trainers an edge, your level playing field goes out the window.”
RSPCA NSW CEO Steve Coleman said self-regulation had failed.
“We need to start from scratch about how this is governed, monitored and regulated,” he said.