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   Jul 05

Inquiry: No evidence of mass grave despite admissions greyhounds shot and buried

An inquiry into an alleged mass grave on a greyhound training property near Cessnock has found no evidence of animals being mistreated, despite admissions that up to 18 dogs have been killed and buried there.
Nanjing Night Net

After persistent allegations that dogs had been shot in the head and dropped in a pit for $50 a shot at the Keinbah Trial Track near Cessnock, the new management of Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) established an inquiry which was also told poor record keeping meant the fate of many dogs from the property could not be traced.

The stewards panel inquiry took evidence from 14 people during two days and found there was no doubt that animals had been buried on the property because it had been a trial track 16 years, but the killings and burials did not warrant the property being excavated.

Greens MP Dr John Kaye said the inquiry was a whitewash and while there has been a change of management at GRNSW there has not been a change of the culture. He said there appeared to be no attempts made to identify the conflicts of interest within the report.

The panel was given interviews from a previous inquiry into the allegations including with greyhound trainer and a former manager of the Keinbah track, Thomas Pullman, who had admitted shooting dogs for their owners and then burying them all in an area on the property known as a contour.

Mr Pullman had said the dogs had been shot because they had been injured at the track. He had initially claimed the maximum number of dogs belonging to other trainers and owners he had euthanised was six. But when pressed Mr Pullman then said there were no more than 16 dogs buried on the property. Later he said there were possibly 17 or 18 dogs buried on the property.

The inquiry report found by Mr Pullman’s own admissions that his record keeping was poor and “the paper trail for a large amount of dogs has not been followed correctly … making it difficult to ascertain the whereabouts of dogs under his control.”

Mr Pullman also said greyhounds that had died at the Maitland races were also buried there. He admitted putting down a pup which had “smashed its head” after hitting a steel item in the chute, and that there were other dogs who had been “ripped open and had to be put down, in the yard there”.

Mr Pullman said that “a lot of them died. I’ve shot a lot of them because they were badly injured.”

Mr Pullman also said that if a greyhound was catastrophically injured and the owner asked him to put it down, and he believed the dog couldn’t be saved by a vet, he would agree to shooting it.

Another former track manager, Corey Spliet had previously denied at an earlier inquiry knowing of any dead dogs on the property, but when pressed admitted at least six dogs that were buried there. One was a pet dog, and the rest he said had been discovered dead in their kennels from snake bites or natural causes.

Despite all that evidence the panel found that the allegations about the mass grave were without substance and amounted “to rampant rumour and innuendo with no factual basis”.

The panel did find there were other potential breaches unrelated to the track that would be investigated.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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