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Trainer charged over exports

By Country News

One of NSW’s top greyhound trainers has been charged with exporting 120 racing dogs to China and Macau without proper documentation.

Greyhound Racing NSW on Friday charged Michael Abbott with sending the registered dogs without their greyhound passport and certified pedigree documents.

He was also charged with damaging the sport through his actions.

Mr Abbott will have a chance to respond at a hearing later this month.

The charges come just weeks after other leading figures, including a GRNSW board member, were slapped with similar charges.

Board member Michael Eberand was charged on May 4 with aiding or abetting and facilitating the export of registered greyhound Wandering Mija to Dubai without a greyhound passport.

Peter Lagogiane, James Cortis and Bradley Eberand were also charged with facilitating the export of the same greyhound without a greyhound passport.

NSW Racing Minister Paul Toole promised ‘‘strong and swift’’ action, including sacking Mr Eberand if he was found guilty by GRNSW.

‘‘People in senior leadership positions in the industry need to act with the utmost integrity,’’ Mr Toole said.

The ‘‘king’’ of the sport, Paul Wheeler, was in late April found guilty of exporting 10 dogs to China without documentation and disqualified for 12 months.

The charges have all emerged as part of an ongoing inquiry into dog exports.

The industry is under increased scrutiny and pressure to improve animal welfare after years of scandals involving live baiting and the mass killing of dogs in NSW.