Greyhound live baiting: NSW board steps down amid scandal

A rabbit is tied to the lure for illegal 'live baiting' Image copyright Animals Australia & Animal Liberation Qld
Image caption The investigation found live animals such as rabbits were tied to the mechanical lure at greyhound tracks

The New South Wales Greyhound Racing board has stepped down amid an industry crisis over illegal live baiting.

An ABC Four Corners report on Monday showed live piglets, possums and rabbits being chased and killed by dogs during training sessions.

Greyhound authorities have suspended over 20 trainers in three states. Some could face jail for animal cruelty.

NSW Racing Minister Troy Grant said the revelations showed the current system of self regulation had failed.

"The government is committed to ensuring anyone caught blooding their dogs will be kicked out of the sport for life and we will restore the integrity of the industry," he said.

Mr Grant said the NSW Greyhound Racing board had "agreed to formally disband", and their powers would be transferred to an interim CEO.

"They have agreed with me that the community has lost confidence in the industry, and we now need the clear air in order to reform and reshape the industry," he said.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Australian greyhound racing is a multi-billion dollar industry

Some of the video, filmed in NSW, Queensland and Victoria, showed struggling animals being flung around a mechanical lure before being torn apart by greyhounds. One possum was spun on the lure for almost an hour.

Live baiting is outlawed but some trainers believe it gives their dogs an advantage in races.

The footage also captured trainers apparently discussing ways of disposing of unwanted dogs, which is against racing regulations.

Senior figures in Australia's greyhound industry have strongly condemned the practice of live baiting.

Greyhounds Australasia Chief Executive Scott Parker described the footage as "appalling".

The industry's biggest sponsor, Macro Meats, withdrew its support in response to the report.

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