Local greyhound trainer laments cruelty scandal
“I HOPE they have the full book thrown at them.”
Halbury’s Kelvyn Stott was nothing short of wild with disgraced greyhound trainers caught in the live baiting scandal last week, which has rocked the sport he loves so much.
Four Corners released vision of some of the nation’s top greyhound trainers using live animals on lures to train their dogs, an illegal practice and outlawed by the industry.
A number of trainers in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland have been suspended and inquiries have been launched after the current affairs program showed footage of pigs, possums and rabbits being used as live baits.
Major sponsors have since withdrawn support from the industry.
Mr Stott said the revelations were devastating to the image of the sport and expected to see public protests at upcoming meets.
“There’s security offices for the first time at Gawler, which is understandable as there is always an element of the public that would want to take it further,” he said.
Mr Stott felt the industry would survive but it would take some time for things to get back to normal.
“It might take a long time but I think we will survive,” he said.
“If we go under, there would be a lot of people unemployed, not just administrative staff and stewards but you’ve also got the course staff and those who run food stalls.”
Mr Stott has trained racing greyhounds, both for himself and other people, for about 20 years and has never used live baits.
He said dogs are usually trained on squeaking toy lures, known as teasers.
There is a theory that live baiting improves a dog’s desire to chase.
“Supposedly that’s the case, although to my experience, a toy will get the dog to chase anyway because it plays on that instinct,” Mr Stott said.
Greyhounds are not considered an especially vicious breed, as placid as they come unless there’s some chasing to be done.
“When I take them out for a walk and they see a rabbit, they’ll take off after it, it’s their natural instinct,” Mr Stott said.
The live baiting scandal has done unfathomable damage to the industry’s reputation.
“The cheats are some big names and that’s the worst thing about it, some of them are hall of famers with the best dogs in the country,” Mr Stott said.
“They should be punished to the full extent of the law, the whole lot thrown at them.
“There is not place in our sport, or society, for what they were doing.
“You’d be naive to say no one does it in SA, although if there was, you would hope it’s an isolated case.
“Just the amount of people supposedly doing it, the names of some of the trainers is what got me, you wouldn’t think of them doing it.”