The VICE Guide to Right Now

A Hiker Has Unearthed a Mass Greyhound Grave in NSW

The RSPCA is investigating why the dogs were killed, and why it appears the crime scene has been tampered with.

by Peter Clynes
15 August 2016, 4:07am

A greyhound. Image via

The bodies of up to seven greyhounds were uncovered by hikers over the weekend, after they stumbled across two greyhound skulls by a walking track in the Swan Bay area of NSW. The remains were found scattered around the site, as well as wrapped in tarpaulin.

The RSPCA were called to the site; however, inspectors could only locate the body of one dog. At this stage it's unclear where the other six dog's bodies are."Inspectors have attended this morning and uncovered the remains," hethe RSPCA's chief inspector, David O'Shannessy, told VICE. "It appears that the area may have been disturbed over night, and that some material may have been removed."

While O'Shannessey was careful to note that the RSPCA is currently unable to implicate any specific group in the death of the animals, his inspectors are currently seeking information on why the bodies were dumped in the first place. They are also investigating why the remains were, seemingly, tampered with overnight.

The remains of the dog found by the RSPCA have been taken to a vet for further examination. They show signs of blunt trauma impact to the tops of the animal's skull. This strongly suggests the dogs were bashed to death with a heavy object, which O'Shannessey states would constitute a clear violation of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.

This is the second incident of greyhound mass burial to be uncovered in the Hunter Valley in the last few months. In July this year, the bodies of nearly one hundred greyhounds were found in a mass grave on the grounds of the Keinbah Trial Track near Cessna in NSW.

Many of those slaughtered dogs' remains showed the same signs of blunt trauma impact to the tops of the skulls as this more recent discovery. In both graves, the dogs showed no other serious injuries bar the fatal blow.

"The only probable motive for culling greyhounds in these circumstances leads to a conclusion the animals were being killed for no other reason than that they were found to be underperforming after being trialled," Sydney barrister Clive Steirn SC is quoted as saying in a media release by Greyhound Racing NSW.

This would mean that roughly one hundred dogs were brought to the Keinbah Trial Track, raced, then summarily executed and dumped into the mass grave after they were found to be too slow.

The NSW Government's inquiry into greyhound racing found that "between 48,891 and 68,448 dogs were killed because they were deemed uncompetitive as racing dogs" over the past 12 years.

The revelation of these mass killings, along with the prevalence of live baiting within the greyhound racing industry, are a large part of what has motivated Mike Baird's total ban on greyhound racing in NSW, effective as of July next year.

Follow Peter on Twitter.

animal cruelty
Mike Baird
Greyhound Racing