Greyhound trainer says live rabbits were for him, not dogs

A GREYHOUND trainer has reportedly told an inquiry into the racing industry that he kept rabbits as his own food, not for the dogs.

The ABC has reported that Sydney trainer Harry Sarkis denied three people's accusations that they and he participated in live baiting on his property.

Mr Sarkis told the NSW greyhound racing industry commission's public hearing on Wednesday that he kept rabbits for his grandchildren and as food for himself.

The commission reportedly heard the RSPCA and Greyhound Racing NSW confiscated five rabbits from his property in 2010.

It was the third day of the public hearing for the inquiry that was prompted by the ABC Four Corners report in February that revealed live possums, piglets and rabbits were being used to train the dogs.

Counsel-assisting the commission Stephen Rushton said on Monday that the former GRNSW chief and board, who were removed in the wake of the report, would also give evidence late this week.

He said although the former chief, Brent Hogan, stated publicly the majority of people in the industry did not use live baiting, Mr Hogan knew otherwise.

"GRNSW knew right from the get-go that live baiting was - and I'll now use its words - a 'traditional' form of training for young greyhounds and that it was being practised by industry participants," Mr Rushton said.

"GRNSW also knew that live rabbits were being kept for the purpose of this dreadful practice."

He said the current chief, Paul Newson, would also be called to give evidence as early as this week.

- APN NEWSDESK


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