By the National Reporting Team’s Sam Clark.
Vision of a New South Wales greyhound trainer allegedly using a cattle prod on a dog has been referred to police by the industry regulator.
The vision, obtained by the ABC and filmed at Newcastle’s “The Gardens” track in 2012, appears to show a greyhound trainer using an electric cattle prod on a dog as it waits in the starting box.
It is understood the video only came to the attention of greyhound racing authorities in recent months.
The handheld prod is believed to be a Parmak “Stock Master”, which can deliver a 6,000-volt shock and is designed to be used for large cattle.
Greyhound Racing NSW’s interim chief executive officer Paul Newsom said in a statement that an independent investigation had delivered him its preliminary findings and had identified the trainer involved in the alleged incident.
“Given the atrocious nature of the conduct depicted in the video, I have referred the preliminary findings, along with the video footage, to the NSW Police Force to examine whether criminal charges can be laid against those involved,” Mr Newsom said.
“It is disheartening to have uncovered another example of greyhound racing industry participants engaging in a serious act of animal cruelty.”
Shatha Hamade from Animals Australia said the video was further proof that the NSW Government’s decision to shut down the state’s greyhound racing industry was the right one.
“This is another sickening example of the kind of cruelty that trainers in this industry are prepared and willing to inflict, and all for the sake of winning a prize purse,” Ms Hamade said.
The video’s release comes at a sensitive time for industry participants as they attempt to mount a rearguard action and reverse the NSW Government’s decision to ban greyhound racing from July next year.
Yesterday, the NSW Greyhound Racing Industry Alliance released its response to the findings of the Special Commission of Inquiry, which prompted the Baird Government’s decision to shut down racing.
The rebuttal questioned the Government’s power to revoke what is known as the industry’s “social license” — the notion that industries like greyhound racing can only operate when they have community support.
The Special Commission of Inquiry’s major recommendation was that the NSW Government consider if the industry had lost its social license and should therefore be banned.
The alliance also warned that the decision threatened Australia’s future food security because it risked setting a precedent that could shut down meat production.
This post originally appeared on ABC News.
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