Footage shot by Animal Liberation Queensland and Animals Australia back in February [uncomfortable image] is beginning to take its toll on the greyhound racing industry. Primarily, Racing Queensland (RQ).
CEO of Racing Queensland, Darren Condon has been asked to step down by Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk after a state review stemming from recent footage shown on ABC’s Four Corners. Footage from earlier this year was broadcast showing greyhound trainers live-baiting their dogs using live rabbits, possums, and piglets.
A Commission of Inquiry was established and headed by Alan MacSporran QC to look into the allegations and prepare a report of findings and recommended actions, if necessary. These actions detailed 15 recommendations involving animal welfare and the general operations of the greyhound racing industry
With the findings now being handed down, MacSporran has determined that Racing Queensland was in direct violation of their duties of self-regulation and the overall care and welfare of the animals within the organization.
According to Palaszczuk, “Racing Queensland has failed, and that started with the boards.”
Not only have the boards failed, they have been abolished. The Queensland All Codes Racing Industry Board, Queensland Thoroughbred Racing Board, Queensland Harness Racing Board, and Queensland Greyhound Racing Board have been disbanded. It remains to be seen how this will be remedied and affect the sport.
Condon has been given five days to make an appeal and show why he should remain as the head of Racing Queensland. Given the charges, findings, and recent disciplinary actions, this may prove to be a difficult task.
In the interim period, KPMG has been brought in to take control of Racing Queensland and work with the government on implementing the recommendations highlighted in MacSporran’s findings. In addition to further reviews and standards, a new body separate from Racing Queensland will be established to focus on the welfare and humane practices of the racing industry.