News: Greyhound industry in shock over live-baiting footage

Updated: February 17, 2015

Welcome to The Outside Word, where we examine news and issues relating to the wagering industry featured in the mainstream media, along with goings-on in the local and international racing and sports betting world.



Australia’s $3 billion-a-year greyhound racing industry is in disgrace and may be suspended amid claims that some trainers use live animals as lures to make their dogs run faster. The ABC’s Four Corners program on Monday night, which claims to have launched the investigation with Animals Australia and Animal Liberation Queensland, showed footage of live piglets, native possums and rabbits squealing as they were attached to lures and chased around the track by greyhounds before being mauled to death.

The technique, outlawed in Australia for decades, is believed to encourage the dogs to run faster when chasing mechanical lures in races. The images sparked outrage and disgust from governments and racing officials in the three states implicated – Queensland, NSW and Victoria. Already seven licensed racing people in NSW, and nearly 30 nationwide, have been stood down as police, RSPCA and greyhound stewards investigate the allegations. The industry has more than 30,000 participants, including full-time and casual personnel.

After decades as the “third peg” of the industry behind thoroughbred racing and harness racing, the greyhound industry had been experiencing unprecedented growth with its share of the tote turnover approaching 20 per cent nationally, accounting for AUD $3 billion of all bets. Tatts Group CEO Robbie Cooke said if individual racing clubs were implicated, the betting giant would halt its advertising and sponsorship. However, betting turnover on greyhound racing was barely impacted in the 24 hours after the broadcast of the Four Corners report.

Independent Federal MP Andrew Wilkie yesterday led calls for the suspension of all greyhound racing in Australia, suggesting there were likely “thousands” of racing greyhounds that had been trained illegally “to get an unfair edge – this calls into question the entire greyhound industry, which must be shut down immediately so the dogs and trainers can be identified and disqualified and the industry cleaned up,” he said. This Friday’s Greyhound Industry Awards Night, which was scheduled to be held at Crown Melbourne, has been cancelled.


  1. Syd

    February 18, 2015 at 5:35 pm

    Anyone with half a clue knew that live baiting and giving dogs ” kills ” was rampant in the industry and has been for decades. How is it possible that in 2015 this is new to some people?

  2. Sean Callander

    February 18, 2015 at 6:21 pm

    Spot on Syd – even more alarming that it was “news” to the greyhound industry management and integrity staff in three states!

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