Deborah Arnold. Photo Inga Williams / The Reporter
Deborah Arnold. Photo Inga Williams / The Reporter Inga Williams

Court orders return of 39 greyhounds to charged trainer

THE Supreme Court has ordered 39 dogs returned to a greyhound trainer who is facing cruelty charges stemming from the sport's live baiting scandal.

Justice Jean Dalton ruled Racing Queensland unlawfully seized Deborah Arnold's greyhounds and declared void its decision to stop the dogs from racing.

Justice Dalton also gave Ms Arnold leave to appeal Racing Disciplinary Board chairman Brock Miller's decision to ban her from the controversial sport.

Racing Queensland's investigation stemmed from the ABC's Four Corners story into trainers using possums, piglets and rabbits to train their dogs at tracks in Queensland and Victoria.

The program caused widespread outrage when it aired across the country in February and led to the RSPCA and police in three states raiding five properties.

Within days racing regulators suspended 22 people from the sport.

Ms Arnold was the United Queensland Greyhounds Association president when her dogs were seized.

When fronting a stewards' inquiry shortly after the Four Corners program aired, Ms Arnold conceded she used live baits at least once.

She also revealed she knew other trainers were using possums, rabbits and baby pigs as lures but she did nothing to stop them.

She admitted to seeing the illegal, cruel and barbaric practice at fellow trainer Tom Noble's Churchable property.

"I have seen it there and I have probably done the wrong thing and just turned a blind cheek and walked away because we are only worried about our own dogs, we don't worry what other people are doing," she said under questioning during the inquiry.

"So if they put a pig on the arm and trialled on a pig, then they've done that.

"I mean, everybody does it."

Ms Arnold told the inquiry she kept quiet because she feared for her life.

"Because if I got found out, they'd kill me," she said.

"They would literally kill me. The trainers.

"Because everybody does it."

Ms Arnold said she was denied "natural justice" and so she appealed Racing Queensland and the Racing Disciplinary Board's seizure and bans.


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