Australia

Greyhound carcasses found dumped in Queensland, Australia

Greyhounds racing in Melbourne, Australia (Feb 2015) Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The lucrative greyhound racing industry has been rocked by a live baiting scandal in recent weeks

Australian police and animal charity the Australian RSPCA are investigating the discovery of at least 55 greyhound carcasses found dumped in bushland.

The decomposing carcasses were discovered near Bundaberg, Queensland, by a member of the public.

Queensland's Police Minister Jo-Ann Miller said the discovery was "totally sickening".

It comes weeks after a scandal erupted over the illegal use of live bait to train Australian greyhounds for racing.

Image copyright Animals Australia & Animal Liberation Qld
Image caption The live baiting footage shocked the racing industry

The investigation, broadcast by ABC Four Corners in February, showed live possums, pigs and rabbits being tied to lures to be chased and killed by dogs at one facility.

A number of trainers have been suspended in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria, while six Queensland trainers were issued with lifetime bans from the sport.

The chairman of Greyhound Racing Victoria and the entire board of NSW Greyhound Racing also resigned.


Michael Beatty, RSPCA Queensland

Image copyright Greyhound Rescue
Image caption Napoleon, a former racing greyhound, was found emaciated with sores and other injuries

"We've always known that there's wastage within the industry, but to find 55 bodies in one spot is a bit disturbing."

Abuse and 'wastage' in Australia's greyhound industry


'Wastage'

Investigators went to the dumping site on Wednesday after a tip-off from a member of the public.

Detective Superintendent Mark Ainsworth told local media the greyhounds appeared to have been dumped over a period of time.

Some appeared to have been shot and shell casings were found at the scene. No attempt had been made to bury the dogs, he said.

"It appears that it may be a common-knowledge dumping ground," the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) quoted him as saying.

"It could be that someone within the industry knows the remoteness of that area and knows that it's a safe place to dispose of greyhounds that are no longer performing."

A spokesman for the RSPCA, Michael Beatty, said it was widely known there was "wastage" within the greyhound industry, but that to find so many dogs in one place was "disturbing".

Ms Miller told the ABC that such "sickening" cruelty would not be tolerated in Queensland.

The head of Racing Queensland, Darren Condon, said he had not had any indication of "a mass dumping of dogs", Fairfax reports.

He said the organisation would assist the police and take "the appropriate response".

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