Parton / Into dog racing’s grey area

“I spoke to Tammy on the radio last week and urged her to tell me what information she had regarding live baiting in the ACT. She has none,” writes columnist MARK PARTON

NEVER had much to do with greyhound racing; called a few dog meetings in Adelaide in the ‘90s, but I’ve only ever been to the Canberra track twice.

Mark Parton.

Mark Parton.

I don’t mind a punt, but I struggle putting money on an animal that doesn’t have anyone steering it.

Maybe I’m naïve, but I was surprised by the ABC TV “Four Corners” live-baiting revelations. What a mongrel of a way for people to try to earn a buck. They should never be involved with animals and I hope they’re all run out of the game.

Do we have any live baiting here in Canberra?

I’d like to give people the benefit of the doubt but Tammy Ven Dange, from the RSPCA ACT, isn’t as generous.

She’s been calling for the ACT Government to distance itself from greyhound racing and to cease funding the sport in any way shape or form. I spoke to Tammy on the radio last week and urged her to tell me what information she had regarding live baiting in the ACT. She has none.

“We’ve had plenty of tip offs, but nothing that was enough to bring about a prosecution,” she said.

“It’s happening all over the country, so why wouldn’t it be happening here?”

Tammy conceded that it’s possible that there is no live baiting occurring in the ACT.

Local trainer Alan Tutt was appalled.

“There is no live baiting in Canberra,” he told me. He said he loves his dogs and that he successfully rehomes them all after their racing days end.

I had a brief conversation with Chief Minister Andrew Barr about this last week. He indicated that the government pumps just shy of a million dollars a year into the greyhound industry and that there was no plan to change this.

I got a fascinating email from a listener soon after my chat with the Chief Minister.

Andy wrote:

“I lived and grew up in the Murrumbateman area in the late ‘70s and I would trap rabbits for their skins for pocket money.

“I would also trap rabbits using ferrets and sell the live rabbits to a guy down the road that owned greyhounds. I was unaware but you can only guess what he used them for. He would say if I caught him possums, he would pay me big dollars.

“If greyhound owners have ferrets you can guess what they are for.

“My dad is in his eighties and said he did the same as me when he was a kid, it’s been happening for many decades.”

I guess we can all make up our own minds.

 

3 Responses to “Parton / Into dog racing’s grey area”