Don’t tarnish others with same brush: Jason Thompson

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LEADING Victorian greyhound trainer Jason Thompson believes the industry in other states should not be tarnished by the New South Wales government’s decision to shut down the sport next year.

Thompson, who trains 20 greyhounds at his Pearcedale property, is a regular visitor to NSW racing tracks and recently claimed the $250,000 first prize when Moreira won the Group 1 Golden Easter Egg at Wentworth Park.

He said he sympathises for the participants in the industry across the border.

“I haven’t read the reports but it’s going to be very disappointing and affect a lot of people,” Thompson said

Thompson said he could not comment on how greyhound racing operated in NSW, but believes those locally involved in the industry had faith in Greyhound Racing Victoria and the continuation of the sport.

“I think it is run professionally and very, very well,” he said.

“We’d like to think that it won’t just happen here because it is structured so well here when a dog comes into the world to when it finishes racing and then to the end.

“Everything is just done for the dog. And that’s the way it should be done involving any animal, whether it be greyhound racing, horse racing or trotting and it’s about the animal involved and their welfare, sustainability and everything that goes with it.”

The damning Four Corners’ report on live baiting in Victoria, NSW and Queensland exposed the ugly and illegal side of greyhound racing, but Thompson said it should not accepted that happens everywhere.

“It’s like the saga with Essendon, does it happen in every football club in Australia — I don’t think it does,” he said.

“Is everyone a drug dealer in the real world — no they are not.

“In everything you do in industry or in any walk of life, there are obviously some who unfortunately don’t play by the rules and it paints a bad picture for everyone else.

“We have moved on from there and if NSW’s did in the manner the should have, remains to be seen.”

Thompson, the father of leading jockey apprentice Ben Thompson, said Victorian greyhound industry had gone about the live baiting in a professional manner.

He said the industry obviously suffered from the live-baiting scandal but it was fighting back and on the rise.

As well as winning the Golden Easter Egg in March for the second time, Thompson won another Group 1 in NSW two weeks ago.

He said he trains in Victoria for several NSW-based owners.

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