LIVE chickens and rabbits were tied by the feet and dragged in a circle at the Wagga greyhound track to lure young dogs into running faster, a whistleblower has revealed.
The industry insider, whom the Advertiser has chosen not to name, alleged the live-baiting took place at night and involved a number of the city’s greyhound owners and trainers.
She said the pups would savage the animals after chasing them around the track.
The allegations come as the industry struggles to rebuild shattered public confidence after a year-long special commission of inquiry cast a shadow of doubt over the sport’s future.
“Up until just recently my son has been present when live chickens have been used as training lures for young puppies,” the unnamed whistleblower said.
“These poor chickens have been tied by the feet with rope and dragged around in front of the pups … once the pups have had a good amount of time chasing this lure they are then let to maul the chicken.”
In a further damning indictment, the whistleblower also alleged greyhounds were “disposed of” and thrown into pits if they did not run fast enough.
“There is never a thought of the dogs being adopted out as pets, they are shot,” she said.
“I know of some trainers who have pits on their properties where these unfortunate dogs are disposed of … these poor animals are discarded and thrown away.”
Wagga Greyhound Club racing manager Garry Anesbury rejected the allegations.
“I’ve been there for 21 years at that dog track and I haven’t seen any of that happen,” he said.
Mr Anesbury said the track gates were locked after hours and there were security patrols up to two times a night.
He said the club faced severe legal consequences if animal welfare laws were breached.
“We’re held responsible for these things and if someone is caught, we can get locked up,” Mr Anesbury said.
“They are only hobby trainers at the club and they love their dogs.”