Greyhound Trainers Jailed

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RSPCA NSW is pleased with the sentencing of three Greyhound trainers, who were covertly filmed live-baiting Greyhounds earlier this year.

RSPCA NSW acted on information and evidence collected by Animals Australia of alleged live baiting in the greyhound racing industry in NSW.

RSPCA NSW obtained search warrants and performed simultaneous inspections at three Greyhound properties in the Sydney Basin on 11 February 2015. This led to comprehensive investigations into the live baiting of Greyhounds. As a result, RSPCA NSW commenced five criminal prosecutions for alleged live baiting and serious animal cruelty offences. Three of these were prosecuted by RSPCA NSW and finalised in Windsor Local Court yesterday.

Ian Morgan was filmed tying a live possum to a lure at a Greyhound track. Muzzled Greyhounds proceeded to chase and terrorise the possum before one Greyhound without a muzzle was unleashed and allowed to catch and disembowel the animal.

Morgan pleaded guilty to all charges, and was sentenced to 12 months in jail, nine months non-parole.

Brothers John and Tony Cauchi, seen using live rabbits on a leash to tease Greyhounds, were charged with 15 animal cruelty offences in total. John Cauchi was sentenced to 18 months behind bars, with a minimum of 12 months to serve. Tony was given the same as a suspended sentence.

In sentencing at Windsor Local Court today (16 December 2015), Magistrate Toose said the suspended sentence was due to Tony Cauchi’s “developmental delay”. She added that nothing less than a custodial sentence would be appropriate for Morgan and John Cauchi.

“From the RSPCA’s perspective, a jail sentence sends a very strong message to individual participants that this sort of behaviour and these training methods are illegal, unacceptable and will not be tolerated,” said RSPCA NSW Chief Inspector David OShannessy.

“These cases are among the more significant animal cruelty type incidents where animals are tortured and tormented. It’s an example of deliberate, premeditated animal cruelty where one animal’s pain, distress and suffering is completely disregarded to train a racing dog, which is ultimately for financial gain,” Mr OShannessy concluded.

In NSW, the Greyhound racing industry remains under review with the Special Commission of Inquiry yet to conclude and make recommendations.

Another two individuals are before the courts on live baiting charges. Those cases will be heard in 2016.