It's no secret that greyhound racing is bad for dogs - as a slew of recent investigations can attest. But one whistleblower has revealed some especially gruesome details this week.
A former trainer with the organization Greyhound Racing Victoria, identified by the pseudonym "Jake Smith" in an interview with Australia's ABC News, said the sport is rife with "criminal activities" and "outrageous" treatment to animals. Here are five of the Australian greyhound industry's dirtiest secrets, as revealed by the whistleblower:
1. Mass burials in backyards.
"[There are around] 20,000 dogs being bred a year. Does anyone guess how many of these dogs end up going in the ground?" the whistleblower told ABC. He added, "I could tell you property after property where they are buried in the backyard with a bobcat."
2. Dogs are thrown out like trash.
Trainers can allegedly pay just $30 to $40 to "get rid" of a slow greyhound - in other words, to have the dog killed, Smith told ABC.
3. Dogs are routinely doped to perform.
Smith said that doping with a drug called EPO is common. "It is the drug of choice for trainers because it's not tested for," he told ABC. The banned drug EPO, or erythropoietin, is a hormone that's used as a performance-enhancing drug in racing.
4. Live baiting with other animals runs rampant.
Also called "blooding," the archaic practice of live baiting involves using rabbits, possums and pigs to train dogs to run around the track. The animals are swung on ropes around the course and then mauled to death. Smith told ABC that "if you pay the right bloke" you can use live bait so a dog can "have a kill on the actual track it is going to race on that week."
5. Whistleblowers face death threats from trainers.
Smith said that others in the industry threatened to kill him, his family and his dogs for speaking about the reality of greyhound racing.
Read the entire sickening interview at ABC Australia.