AN ASSISTANT manager at the suspended Tooradin Trial Track has been disqualified from greyhound racing for life.
The Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board banned Lawrence Cunningham after finding him guilty of 17 charges of alleged live baiting at the track.
Mr Cunningham of Pakenham did not contest the charges or turn up to the hearing at the Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board in West Melbourne on 26 August.
Cunningham allegedly used a live rabbit on a leash to excite a greyhound and attached a live rabbit or piglet to the track’s lure arm for luring several dogs on 23 December and 15 January.
The board, after viewing video footage of the offences, found Mr Cunningham’s conduct warranted a “much more severe” penalty than the 10-year disqualification which is laid out by the industry’s animal welfare penalty guidelines.
“His conduct involved active participation in multiple breaches of the rules carried out in what appeared to be a practised and experienced manner and included the gravest of these types of offences,” the board stated.
“He was an employee at the Tooradin Trial Track at the relevant times and clearly knew what he was doing.”
There were no mitigating factors, the board stated.
Cunningham is the fifth trainer to be permanently banned over the scandal, with a further 11 related cases to be heard.
Last month the track’s manager Stuart Mills was also handed a lifelong disqualification by the board.
The track has been closed since the scandal, which alleged that live piglets, possums and rabbits were used to excite and lure greyhounds, broke in February.
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