18 Feb 2015

Probe launched into live bait

1:17 pm on 18 February 2015

Australian officials have launched a probe into greyhound racing after a television expose showed trainers secretly using possums, pigs and rabbits as live bait to train their dogs.

Greyhounds round the bend

Greyhounds round the bend Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Footage gathered in three states showed dogs being allowed to attack and kill the animals on the lures and a possum snapped in half after being sent around the track at high speed dozens of times.

Trainers were heard laughing off-camera as a man joked about whether an animal, lying motionless on the ground, was dead.

A greyhound muzzles fake bait

A greyhound muzzles fake bait Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Live-baiting has been banned in Australia for decades but some trainers still believe it will give their dogs an advantage when they race at the track chasing the artificial hare or rabbit.

Greyhound Racing Victoria chairman Peter Caillard says he is "disgusted" by the revelations and claims live-baiting was limited to only one private track in Victoria state.

Greyhound Racing New South Wales has also set up an investigative taskforce to probe live-baiting.