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A man who used a live rabbit strapped to a lure as a method to train greyhounds has been banned for life from the sport.
More than eight years after the live-baiting scandal erupted, prompting the NSW government to announce the shutdown of the industry, greyhound racing participant Zeke Kadir has been given a lifetime ban despite making submissions he wanted return to the sport.
In a judgment handed down by the Greyhound Welfare and Integrity Commission last month and seen by this masthead, Kadir was warned off from ever being involved in the industry again. He was also fined $16,500.
Evidence tabled before chief commissioner Brenton Taylor and commissioner Chris Wheeler alleged Kadir received text messages from greyhound racing participants over a 12-month period between 2018 and 2019 in which arrangements were made for him to “break in” or educate greyhounds, despite Kadir being embroiled in the animal cruelty scandal years earlier.
It was claimed Kadir was also seen on video footage from the Richmond greyhound track at four separate trialling sessions during a four-week period from April 2019 where he was preparing dogs on behalf of other owners.
He held no official registration with the governing body at the time.
A still from the ABC Four Corners program exposing live baiting practices in the greyhound racing industry.Credit: ABC
Kadir pleaded guilty to two separate charges of committing a serious act of cruelty on an animal and acting, or holding himself out, to be the trainer of a greyhound entitled to compete in an event while unlicensed.
The long-running saga had been delayed as Kadir faced criminal charges for his role in the live-baiting drama.
He was sentenced by Penrith District Court in December 2020 under a community corrections order and was found to have good prospects of rehabilitation.
Kadir had asked his matter before the sport’s regulatory arm be postponed until the criminal matter was finalised.
Mike Baird’s NSW government banned greyhound racing in 2016 only to go back on that decision months later.Credit: Wolter Peeters
But GWIC found there was no case for him to receive special circumstances beyond the mandatory minimum sanction for the cruelty offence, despite Kadir’s representatives arguing he understood the seriousness of his offence.
It was argued Kadir should not serve a “crushing penalty”, and for the commissioners to consider the financial cost of his criminal matter.
Undercover footage of greyhounds chasing a lure with a live rabbit taped to it on a training track being used by Kadir was aired on the ABC’s 4 Corners program, prompting a public outcry and throwing into serious doubt the viability of the sport.
Then-premier Mike Baird announced an intention to close the state’s greyhound racing industry, only for the decision to be later overturned.
Greyhound racing administrators have since prioritised the code’s animal welfare policies and re-homing programs and reduced the number of greyhounds bred each year while announcing new initiatives on the track, including the Million Dollar Chase.
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