The Courier-Mail

INQUIRY HOUNDS RACING BOSSES

- DAMON GUPPY

THE entire Racing Queensland board is facing the sack after being accused of allowing widespread live-baiting and animal cruelty in the greyhound racing industry.

A Government inquiry has recommende­d a wholesale shake-up of the industry, including a new seven-member board with four directors who have no involvemen­t in racing.

The inquiry also proposed a new statutory authority to police animal welfare issues, and suggested changes to legislatio­n that would give officials more power to raid the properties of trainers. It estimated that one in three of the greyhounds bred for racing in Queensland are killed without running a single race – a finding that resulted in a proposal that there be mandatory registrati­on of every puppy.

Inquiry commission­er Alan MacSporran QC yesterday delivered his report to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, who is expected to announce a response in Parliament today after vowing to act quickly to prevent a repeat of the “deeply distressin­g” scandal.

Mr MacSporran was highly critical of the Racing Queensland board and executive for “systemic failures”, accusing officials of turning a “blind eye” to trainers who allegedly used live possums and pigs to blood greyhounds.

“It is difficult to understand how anyone with a close associatio­n with or involvemen­t in the industry could express surprise that the practice of live-baiting was still occurring when it must have been obvious that there has been a lack of proactive monitoring of premises of industry licensees,” his report said.

Mr MacSporran also took aim at Racing Queensland boss Darren Condon, who he said had failed to act on complaints by Animal Liberation Queensland.

THE entire Racing Queensland board is facing the sack after being accused of allowing widespread live-baiting and animal cruelty to tarnish greyhound racing. In the industry’s biggest shake-up in recent history, the board could be replaced by a new seven-member committee that would include at least four people who have had no involvemen­t in racing for at least the past two years.

Rac ing Queensland CEO Darren Condon is also tipped to be swept aside.

The proposal to install new leadership is a key recommenda­tion made by inquiry commission­er Alan MacSporran QC, who yesterday delivered his report into the embattled greyhound industry to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk. The new board would comprise a minimum of four new members with strong corporate background­s and one rep- resentativ­e each from racing codes.

The individual thoroughbr­ed, harness and greyhound boards would be abolished.

Mr MacSporran was highly critical of the Racing Queensland board and executive for “systemic failures”, accusing officials of turning a “blind eye” to trainers who allegedly used live possums and pigs to blood greyhounds.

He said the lack of action against the “archaic and barbaric practice” had dealt “an almost terminal blow” to public confidence in the sport.

“It is difficult to understand how anyone with a close associatio­n with or involvemen­t in the industry could express surprise that the practice of live-baiting was still occurring when it must have been obvious that there has been a lack of proactive monitoring of premises of industry licensees,” his report said.

Mr MacSporran also took aim at Mr Condon over his treatment of Animal Liberation Queensland activist Hayley Cotton, who tried to raise concerns about the welfare of greyhounds.

But he added Mr Condon’s role in overseeing all three codes “may be a task beyond the capability of any one person”.

Ms Palaszczuk is expected to announce the Government’s response to the inquiry report in Parliament today.

She said the Government would act quickly to prevent a repeat of the “deeply distressin­g” live-baiting scandal exposed by the ABC’s Four Corners program in February.

“In this day and age, how

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