A local greyhound trainer could face criminal charges after evidence of live baiting was found at a property in Lara.
The trainer and a fellow registered industry member were caught out during a ‘targeted inspection’ on Tuesday.
Greyhound Racing Victoria (GRV) said the air were immediately suspended after evidence of luring and baiting was discovered during the check.
Greyhound Racing Victoria CEO Stuart Laing flagged the pair could face criminal charges over the breaches.
“The industry has zero tolerance for any baiting offences, which not only impact animal welfare but also undermine the integrity of the sport and damages the reputation of the greyhound racing industry,” he said in a statement.
“Our greyhound racing integrity unit is highly vigilant and will investigate allegations and evidence and take appropriate action, including consideration of any potential criminal breaches of Victoria’s Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 as well as offences under the rules of racing.”
Live baiting involves the use of live animals such as piglets, rabbits and possums in place of a lure in the training of racing dogs, and is illegal in every state of Australia.
GRV said it would not be making further comment while the investigation is ongoing.
Joanne Lees, from the Coalition for the Protection of Greyhounds, said the industry was keeping its cards close to its chest.
“It’s not a good look for the industry,” she said.
“It’s been a traditional method for training racing greyhounds for decades, it’s barbaric and sadistic and it still happens.
“The last proven live baiting case was only two months ago in South Australia, so it’s very clear that this is still happening. It’s a national issue and it needs to be addressed properly.”
Ms Lees called for a total ban on greyhound racing, saying the industry wheeled out its ‘one bad apple’ defence each time there was an incident.
The Lara raid is the latest in a long line of cruelty scandals that have plagued the troubled industry and led to its banning around the world.
Australia is one of only seven countries that still allows greyhound racing.
There have been 81 deaths and more than 7,000 injuries to racing greyhounds to the start of September, including one in Geelong.
In 2022 there were 227 fatalities and more than 10,000 injuries. Eight of those deaths occurred at the Beckley Park track.