Live baiting pointless and barbaric says veteran trainer
GREYHOUNDS don't need to be "blooded" to run fast, says veteran local greyhound trainer Frank Hancock.
The 70-year-old, who won $20,000 at a major event in Lismore before Christmas, said his secret to success was "tender loving care".
Mr Hancock said he looked forward to waking up every morning and taking his 11 dogs - five racing, six retired - for a run.
The idea is that if the dog is loved and healthy, it will easily do what comes naturally - run fast on the track.
I treat my dogs as part of the family. They're just a beautiful animal, it doesn't matter if they run first or last in a race they just try their heart out for you
- Veteran trainer Frank Hancock
"After I walk them, my wife puts them on a magnetic blanket that gives them a massage, checks their feet," he said.
"They get a manicure when they need it, a brush and some rest.
"They just love to lay around."
Mr Hancock said proper exercise and nutrition was the key for caring for a dog, just like any athlete.
"I treat my dogs as part of the family," he said. "They're just a beautiful animal, it doesn't matter if they run first or last in a race they just try their heart out for you."
This is a far cry to the conduct of some trainers featured on Monday night's Four Corners, who openly discussed ways of killing and disposing of under-performing dogs.
And "blooding" dogs with live animals was not only barbaric, but pointless, Mr Hancock said.
"They're stupid and gullible to believe that will make the dogs run faster," he said of the 23 trainers suspended over the practice.
"Greyhounds will chase a leaf blowing in the wind, or a piece of paper on the ground."
Mr Hancock said that the conduct of live baiters was deplorable, but didn't want to comment further on the issue.
He said trainers shouldn't all be tarred with the same brush over the scandal.
"My wife even contributes money to the RSPCA; if we didn't love animals we wouldn't be doing that."