Greyhound Racing NSW charges trainer with unauthorised export of 120 dogs | World news


One of NSW’s top greyhound trainers has been charged with the unauthorised export of 120 racing dogs to China and Macau.

Greyhound Racing NSW charged Michael Abbott with sending the registered dogs in breach of the state’s rules designed to prevent the export of dogs to places with inadequate animal welfare standards.

He was also charged with damaging the sport through his actions.

Abbott will have a chance to respond at a hearing this month.

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It is alleged Abbott did not obtain export passports for the dogs, which are administered by Greyhounds Australasia to monitor such exports.

No passports have been issued for export to Macau since 2013, after Greyhounds Australasia deemed it not “compliant with Australian animal welfare standards”.

Macau is home to the notorious canidrome, or Yat Yuen, a greyhound track with a high death rate and poor conditions. The canidrome will soon be closed, after activists put pressure on the Macau government.

The charges come just weeks after other leading figures, including a Greyhound Racing NSW board member, were slapped with similar charges.

The board member Michael Eberand was charged on 4 May with aiding or abetting and facilitating the export of registered greyhound Wandering Mija to Dubai without a greyhound passport.

Eberand has subsequently quit as a board member. In a statement published on Facebook, he denied all the allegations and said he would fight them at the hearing.

He also said the dog was safe and in the hands of the Dubai royal family.

“Those that know us know the passion and care we have for our greyhounds,” he said.

“I have done my very best to be honest and transparent at all times. After seeking a full legal review, I have denied all the allegations raised.

“While it is probable that it will be very uneconomic and costly to do so, Bradley and I will be defending the charges that have been raised for breaching the rules of racing.”

His son, Bradley Eberand, along with Peter Lagogiane and James Cortis, were also charged with facilitating the export of the same greyhound without the required passport.

In announcing the charges, the NSW racing minister, Paul Toole, promised “strong and swift” action including sacking Eberand if he was found guilty by Greyhound Racing NSW.

“People in senior leadership positions in the industry need to act with the utmost integrity,” he said in a statement.

The “king” of the sport, Paul Wheeler, was found guilty in late April of exporting 10 dogs to China without documentation and disqualified for a year.

The charges have emerged as part of a continuing inquiry into greyhound exports.

The industry is under increased scrutiny and pressure to improve animal welfare after years of scandals involving live baiting and the mass killing of dogs in NSW.



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