MP hits out over greyhound motion

The Greyhound Racing NSW board was sacked recently following revelations of live baiting in the industry.

The WA motion called on the Government to investigate to ensure there was no such practice in WA, that animal welfare in the industry was maintained and appropriate safeguards were put in place.

Dr Buti spoke in favour of the motion.

‘No one in the eastern states industry was saying that live baiting in the greyhound industry existed until it was aired,’ he said.

‘I am very disappointed that the Barnett Government has taken this stand and that the Liberals do not share our concerns.’

Racing and Gaming Minister Colin Holt said live baiting was a reprehensible practice.

‘Racing and Wagering Western Australia (RWWA) has provided me with an assurance that it is committed to ensuring the abhorrent practice of live baiting is not taking place,’ he said.

‘If any evidence of such practices does emerge, it (RWWA) will investigate and prosecute where necessary.’

The RWWA rules prohibit use of live baiting in greyhound training but the organisation has recently amended this rule to create a specific offence for the possession of ‘any species of bird or animal which might reasonably be capable of being used as a lure or to excite a greyhound’.

Any person found guilty of this faces a penalty of a minimum $50,000 fine and a lifetime ban on any form of involvement in the industry. Mr Holt said RWWA invested $6.7 million annually in integrity-related matters across all codes of racing and Integrity Assurance Committee stewards and investigators routinely conducted unannounced visits, inspections and surveillance.

A sub-committee of the RWWA Board, the IAC is responsible for audit, risk and compliance functions.

Mr Holt said the Government’s view was without any credible evidence of live baiting occurring in WA, due to RWWA’s ongoing integrity assurance, animal welfare review mechanisms and external scrutiny, additional investigations was not warranted.