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The RSPCA is calling for any reviews into the greyhound racing industry to be conducted by independent bodies following the widespread cruelty exposed by ABC Four Corners on Monday night.

Horrific footage showing live animals such as possums, piglets and rabbits being used for baiting in the training of racing greyhounds has shocked and outraged the Australian community.

While some state racing authorities have announced the implementation of taskforces in response to this level of entrenched cruelty, the RSPCA is urging State and Territory Governments to ensure any investigations are conducted entirely independently of the industry and current racing authorities.

“It’s completely inappropriate to let the regulators or industry conduct these investigations, if they couldn’t stop it before how can the community trust them to do it now?,” questioned Ms Heather Neil, RSPCA Australia CEO.

“As far as we’re concerned the conflict of interest is too great.

“The Four Corners program has shown how entirely incapable the greyhound racing industry is at effectively regulating its own practices. For this culture of cruelty to go undetected by racing authorities for so long is a disgrace.

“There needs to be an immediate suspension of all those  implicated, close monitoring of the wellbeing of dogs at risk and  an independent overhaul of the regulatory arrangements for the greyhound racing industry.

“For the hundreds of dogs now potentially at risk of euthanasia after being suspended from racing, we urge greyhound authorities to closely track them, and substantially increase the support and promotion given to adoption initiatives.

“The RSPCA is contacting all Racing Ministers to ensure the urgency of an independent and comprehensive review is understood and acted upon immediately,” said Ms Neil.

The RSPCA urges anyone who is concerned about an animal’s welfare or has information regarding animal cruelty to contact their local RSPCA immediately: rspca.org.au/report-cruelty

For more information on the RSPCA’s concerns about the serious animal welfare issues in greyhound racing see here.

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