Greyhound trainers won't run from industry's awful truth
REVELATIONS of live baiting have reverberated down to the grass roots level of greyhound racing, but experienced Ipswich trainers say the controversy could result in the clean-up that the sport needs.
At the first race meeting since the sensational Four Corners program went to air Monday night, there was a mix of disappointment and optimism among those who stand by the sport and the vast majority of people involved in it.
Former Ipswich Greyhound Racing Club president and current trainer Rob Essex said he was devastated by what he'd witnessed while watching the ABC program.
"In greyhound racing you have trainers at the very top level, then you have your middle trainers, then you have your average trainers," he said.
"The middle trainers work tirelessly trying to get results but they don't seem to get them. Before the show last night, I would have said that the top trainers are using something, and if you'd put me on the spot, I would have said that it's some kind of drug that they can get hold of and know they can get away with."
Mr Essex said he was against live baiting because it was cruel to the animals involved and because it was a form of cheating.
"Every one of these guys that has done the wrong thing needs to go," he said.
"I hope they get the book thrown at them."
Trainers like Mr Essex and Mt Tarampa trainer Alby Kennewell use squeaky toys to hone their dogs' natural urge to chase.
Mr Essex puts the "squeakers" in an onion bag, but others prefer to use sheep skins.
Mt Tarampa dog trainer Alby Kennewell said the Four Corners revelations would "knock greyhound racing for six" and do untold damage to plans to build a new track at Logan.
"Animal liberationists are determined to stop us building our track at Logan and the trainers that have been involved in this are just making it worse for us," Mr Kennewell said.
"The stewards should be able to clean it up - it's up to them to do their job. This should never have happened.
"Live baiting is a desperation measure. There are some greedy people who are just in it for the money."