Major sponsor pulls support for greyhound racing in wake of live baiting scandal

Greyhound racing in NSW has no independent regulator with power to root out criminal and unethical practices.● Hunter greyhound property: Rabbits found in raid
Nanjing Night Net

●Trainers unite to deter live-baiting


One of greyhound racing’s biggest sponsors has pulled its support in light of the live baiting scandal.

National meat provider Macro Meats Gourmet Game has pulled its sponsorship from all greyhound racing in Australia, including Brisbane’s Albion Park, in the wake of theFour Cornersinvestigationaired on Monday.

The company signed on as the largest sponsor of South Australian racing last year and has had long associations with greyhound racing in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.

Managing director Ray Borda also dabbles in greyhound and horse ownership. He said he was sickened by the activities exposed in the program.

“It’s not just a business decision, it’s a personal decision,” he said.

“I’m as appalled as everybody else. A clear message has to be put through that change has to occur.

“It sickens me, my staff and a lot of people in the public.

“I’m an animal lover and it’s knocked me around personally a fair bit.”

Macro Meats sponsors regional events such as gymkhanas, and some horse racing, but Borda said it was a simple decision to pull their sponsorship.

A screenshot of the Four Corners program on greyhound racing industry, allegedly filmed at trainer Tom Noble’s property in Queensland. Picture: ABC

“We’re one of the biggest sponsors of greyhound racing in Australia,” he said.

“We were associated with the greyhounds as a good family sport and once it changed from that, even though it was just a few individuals, we stopped immediately.

“It doesn’t matter what business you’re in, you cannot disregard animal welfare.”

Borda said he wouldn’t rule out a return to greyhound sponsorship, but would need to see a great deal of change.

“You never say never,” he said.

“They’d have to address animal welfare issues, that’s the number one problem, and change the image of what it is.

“How they do that is up to the people that run the greyhound industry.

“It’s a complete re-education process from the ground up.”

Other sponsors are yet to make a call on their associations with Greyhound Racing Queensland.

Garrard’s Horse and Hound, which supplies supplements and health products for horses and greyhounds, is one of those sponsors.

General manager Daren Garrard said they were still honouring their contract with Albion Park and had not made any decision either way.

Animal welfare groups have called for the complete cessation of greyhound racing.

The Barristers Animal Welfare Panel chair, Joanna Fuller, said the industry could not be relied on to regulate itself any longer.

“Whatever is done now or is attempted to be done it simply cannot be guaranteed that this can be stamped out,”he said.

“These aren’t just rogue elements and the only way to prevent animal abuse is to stop the industry.”

Thirteen Queensland trainers have been in the spotlight of the live baiting scandal.

Racing Queensland issued Reg Kay, Debra Arnold, Tom Noble, Tony McCabe, James Harding, Michael Chapman and Greg Stella with show cause notices on Tuesday. They have seven days to respond.

Kay has also been removed from the Racing Queensland Hall of Fame.

A further six trainers (Stephen Sherwell, Gerri Crisci, Anthony Hess, Steven Arnold, Mick Emery and Samantha Roberts) have been suspended for the duration of the investigation.

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