Like many, I was also horrified to learn of the live baiting practices in the Greyhound Industry on the ABC’s Four Corners program. The South Australian Liberal Party is strongly opposed to the use of live baiting for racing and we have introduced important legislation into the South Australian Parliament to amend the Animal Welfare Act 1985. This will provide the RSPCA with the ability to identify where live baiting may occur and new penalties to ensure those engaged are punished by the courts.
The Incidents reported on the program were from Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland and resulted in over 20 owners and trainers being suspended to date. Although no incidents of live baiting have come to the attention of authorities in South Australia, we are committed to ensuring the practice does not occur in our state as well Our amendment will provide new penalties which will allow those who engage in this practice to be punished by the courts.
Currently “bullrings” are not required to be licensed in South Australia. We believe this is an unnecessary risk and could allow live baiting to occur. Our amendment will ensure “bullrings” are licensed and this will enable these facilities to be regularly and more effectively inspected. Also under the changes, a person operating an unlicensed bullring for greyhound training will face a fine of up to $10,000 or imprisonment for 1 year.
In addition, a person who supplies an animal for the purposes of live baiting will face a fine of up to $20,000 or imprisonment for 2 years and a person taking part in live baiting will face a penalty of up to $50,000 or imprisonment for 4 years.
Animal cruelty must not be tolerated and the Liberal Party will continue to work with the community towards improving standards for animals.
If you are aware of any instances of mistreatment of animals I urge you to immediately contact the RSPCA on their cruelty report line 1300 477 722 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.