Does disgraced Melbourne Cup winning trainer Darren Weir’s four-year ban go far enough?
The racing industry in Australia – gallops, harness and greyhounds – is always heavily scrutinised and when someone is found guilty of animal cruelty they should rightfully punished.
No matter their status.
The explosive Four Corners expose that almost brought greyhound racing to an end in NSW back in 2016 was a prime example of what can go on behind the scenes.
Over hundreds of years, owners and trainers have come up with countless ways of trying to gain an advantage to ensure their animals win.
Drugs, supplements, jiggers, unique training methods and so on.
It’s the nature of the beast when prisemoney is up for grabs.
The industry is, however, heavily regulated with all stakeholders obliged to comply with strict guidelines.
That isn’t to say there aren’t dodgy practices taking place, but Victoria Racing and Victoria Police’s combined and patient investigations into Weir and his bent operations shows some impetus to bring those responsible to justice.
Like racing or think it’s inhumane despite those that follow best practice or not, the industry employees thousands of Tasmanians and Australians.
Ranging from administrators, breeders, track workers, jockeys, betting agencies employees, journalists and the like.
It’s a big business and Weir’s errors have certainly cost many their bread and butter.
Some say Weir shouldn't be allowed to train again, and are rightly angered at his actions.
But it is unlikely he will enter the industry again and the entire industry shouldn’t be tarred with the same corrupt Weir brush, because like every occupation, there are good people in racing.
Good people that follow the law and care about the animals they are working with and deserve to go about their work with any preconceptions.
Like every workplace, there are those that do their job well and those that don’t.