Donald Peter May leaving Ipswich District Court after pleading guilty to five counts of serious animal cruelty.
Donald Peter May leaving Ipswich District Court after pleading guilty to five counts of serious animal cruelty. File

Trainer convicted for "barbaric" practice of livebaiting

A PIGLET'S squeals as people laughed could be heard in the footage which convicted the latest greyhound trainer in a long line to come from a covert operation at a Churchable property.

Greyhound trainer and owner Donald Peter May, 79, was identified twice in the footage obtained by Animal Liberation Queensland in February 2015 training his dogs at greyhound live baiting poster boy Tom Noble's property.

May admitted to a further three occasions when he used the property to "enhance the performance and keep the dogs interested in the lure".

A live piglet was used on the lure each time between August 2014 and February 2015 and didn't survive on at least one occasion.

May took his dogs to the property to "correct some particular behaviour" after his dog was penalised for marring at an Ipswich race in November 2014. Marring is when a greyhound turns its head or fails to chase a lure during a race.

May pleaded guilty in Ipswich District Court this morning to five counts of serious animal cruelty.

Defence lawyer Malcolm Harrison said May was "fitting in with the standard that was well in place".

"He'd have been aware of what was going on and using the degradation of animals to train his dogs to a higher standard," he said.

"Greyhound racing was a joy to him and he fell into a system that was in place but he must have been aware it was cruel."

Judge Alexander Horneman-Wren said May trained "with a defenceless animal attached to a lure".

"The practice is simply barbaric and I see no reason to part from that description on this occasion," he said.

"It highlights the strange dichotomy in that some animals are treated with such care and others with such disgraceful disdain."

May was sentenced to six months imprisonment suspend for 12 months.



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