Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk with barrister Alan MacSporran SC
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk with barrister Alan MacSporran SC Adam Davies

'Damning report' released into greyhound livebaiting

QUEENSLAND's $500 million greyhound racing sector could face a terminal blow unless sweeping recommendations are adopted as outlined in a report into the industry's live baiting scandal.

The scathing report into the controversial practice revealed there were systemic failures at every level resulting in the inability, or unwillingness, of racing authorities to manage animal cruelty issues.

It also found those engaging in live baiting practices did so with impunity and others simply turned a blind eye.

The Queensland Government ordered the inquiry after a Four Corners expose that showed sickening vision of possums, rabbits and piglets being strapped to lures for greyhounds to chase down, savage and devour at training tracks in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.

The report, handed down on Monday, made 15 recommendations but did not focus on the 23 individuals who have been charged with criminal offences.

Recommendations include requiring each greyhound pup be registered and micro-chipped so it is fully traceable, scrap funding to the greyhound breeding incentive program and review racing rules to ensure any training activity occurs only on registered tracks.

READ MORE: RSPCA backs greyhound report recommendations

Inquiry commissioner Alan MacSporran said despite little evidence to prove live baiting was widespread, it would be naive in the extreme to conclude it was not happening on a grand scale.

"That it was allowed to happen at all in this day and age is a sad reflection on the state of the greyhound racing industry and those who participate in it whether for pleasure or profit," he said.

"Public confidence may have been dealt an almost terminal blow by the exposure of what is likely to have been a widespread practice of live baiting in the greyhound racing industry.

"To put it simply, if those in the industry have participated in the archaic and barbaric practice of live baiting, they have let the entire industry down and have treated the public with disdain."

Other recommendations include establishing a new authority to ensure the integrity of the racing industry and appointing a full-time, independent racing integrity commissioner who answers directly to the minister.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said she would address State Parliament about the report's content and the government's response when it resumes tomorrow.

She said the images aired earlier this year were emotionally distressing and those responsible would be brought to justice.

"This is animal cruelty on a scale never seen before," she said.

"It was confronting, it was horrific and I cannot believe in this day and age it was happening."

Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg said the LNP supported any action that ensured the abhorrent practice of live baiting in the greyhound industry was stamped out once and for all.

"The LNP will be closely following this process and we look forward to going through the report findings in further detail," he said. 

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