MURTOA greyhound trainer Stephen Rabl has had his licence cancelled after being found guilty of drowning and neglecting greyhound puppies.
After a tip-off from Murtoa residents, Yarriambiack Shire Council reported Mr Rabl’s conduct to Greyhound Racing Victoria.
Yarriambiack local laws officer Greg Wilson said one of Mr Rabl’s greyhounds had fallen pregnant and had 10 pups.
“The mother was getting locked out away from the pups and the neighbours could hear her howling all night,” he said.
“The pups were two and three days old. The pups weren’t getting enough feed because they needed their mother’s milk to grow properly.”
Eight pups from the litter of 10 died after being drowned by Mr Rabl or euthanised because of their malnourished state.
The independent Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board handed down its decision on May 6.
Mr Rabl pleaded guilty to the charge and was also fined $1000, suspended for 12 months.
Mr Wilson said when council arrived at Mr Rabl’s property, he was apologetic and asked for help.
“He was very obliging and helpful when we got there, but it gets to a point where it’s too late for that,” he said.
“The mother was getting locked out away from the pups and the neighbours could hear her howling all night.”
Greyhound Victoria general manager of marketing and communications Campbell Davies said incidents of such severity were uncommon in the sport.
“Having your licence cancelled is one of the harshest penalties that can be handed out,” he said.
“We have a responsibility not only to the people in our organisation but also to the greyhound breed.
“These are not actions which we condone.”
An RSPCA spokeswoman said the organisation was investigating whether there was any criminal element to Mr Rabl’s actions.
“We received a cruelty report and are investigating potential breaches of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act,” she said.
“Because it is an open investigation, we cannot make further comment.”
Mr Wilson said while he did not believe it was a case of intentional cruelty, he would have liked to have seen a more severe punishment handed out.
“It’s probably not harsh enough but that’s the view of the appeals board,” he said.
“It’s good that Greyhound Victoria does jump on these blokes who do the wrong thing. This guy was incapable of taking care of the dogs and the pups.”
He urged people who were unable to properly care for their animals to call council for help.
The surviving dogs and puppies have been placed in a greyhound adoption program.