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Australian greyhound trainers use live animals to be torn apart by dogs

WARNING: The video in this piece will upset some people.

Source: ABC News (Australia)/YouTube

*VIDEO CONTAINS GRAPHIC FOOTAGE THAT UPSET SOME*

AUSTRALIAN GREYHOUND RACING is reeling after graphic video emerged which shows trainers using live animals to train dogs.

An Australian Broadcasting Corporation investigation showed the animals being fixed to mechanical lures before being chased and torn apart during training sessions.

The animal welfare group RSPCA, in conjunction with police in the states of New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland, raided five properties last week after the ABC handed over its evidence ahead of the programme being broadcast on Monday evening.

RSPCA Australia CEO Heather Neil said multiple greyhound trainers including those with a high profile in the industry across three states are implicated, indicating an “entrenched industry culture where animal cruelty and suffering is seen by some as an accepted cost” of the sport.

“If it is this widespread in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria, it would be naïve to think it isn’t happening elsewhere,” said Ms Neil.

The callous disregard for animal suffering shown by individuals captured in this footage should see the state and territory racing bodies immediately suspending the trainers and others implicated; the 22 already suspended is likely to represent only the tip of the iceberg.

PastedImage-64977 A clip from the video shows two dogs tearing a live rabbit apart.

The videos show dogs chasing live animals including piglets, rabbits and possums. In one clip, two trainers discuss a possum that is still alive, having been snapped backwards. One is heard to say “its guts are ripped out”, before the other laughs.

In another, two men discuss a price to be paid when the dogs kill a piglet which is strapped to a lure.

Others talk about killing a baby possum while its mother watches.

Greyhounds Australasia chief executive Scott Parker said 23 people, among them prominent names within the sport, had been suspended as he ordered an urgent independent review of all systems relating to animal welfare and integrity.

“I am appalled at some of the footage shown on the Four Corners programme,” he said, while insisting that only a small minority of the sport’s 30,000 participants were involved.

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