If Racing Minister, Jeremy Rockliff, is serious about ensuring live baiting is not taking place in Tasmania’s greyhound racing industry, he should follow the New South Wales’ lead, establish a high level Taskforce and ensure Tasmania Police and the RSPCA Tasmania are involved in the investigation, Greens’ Animal Welfare spokesperson, Cassy O’Connor MP, said today.
“Unfortunately, the Minister has shied away from an independent investigation into whether or not gross animal cruelty in happening in the greyhound racing industry here, as ABC Four Corners revealed it is happening in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland,” Ms O’Connor said.
“Putting Tas Racing and his own Department of Primary Industries in charge of the investigation is not an independent process, but having the RSPCA join the investigation would go some way towards reassuring Tasmanians there will be rigour around the process.”
“It is deeply regrettable that, because of the Hodgman Government’s refusal to properly fund the RSPCA, it is down to five inspectors from eight last year.”
“An appropriately funded and resourced, independent animal welfare inspectorate is crucial to protecting the welfare of Tasmanian animals and ensuring we don’t see the kind of revolting abuses of animals in the name of sport that we saw on the ABC on Monday night.”
“The RSPCA should be invited to join a high level Taskforce, with representatives of Tasmania Police, Tas Racing, DPIPWE, and animal rights’ organisations, to ensure the investigation undertaken is more independent rigorous, transparent and to provide protection to whistle blowers if necessary.”
“Tasmanians need to know the greyhound racing industry here is not blighted with the same horrific abuses of animals as it is on the mainland,” Ms O’Connor said.