Queenslanders are shocked and sickened after 55 greyhounds were found shot in a mass grave near Bundaberg

Photo: Vince Caligiuri/Getty.

Queensland police and the RSPCA are investigating the discovery of 55 greyhound carcasses in bushland near Bundaberg, 400km north of Brisbane.

The bodies, in various states of decomposition, were found in a nature reserve at Coonarr Beach on Wednesday.

The RSPCA were tipped off after a member of the public stumbled upon the bodies. A number of spent .22 calibre ammunition shells were found around the site. The bodies were not buried and bones were scattered around the sand. The area has recently been subject to a number of bushfires.

An investigation into the killings is now being held as part of the Joint Greyhound Racing Inquiry Task Force in the wake of Four Corners revelations about the illegal use of live-baiting by the industry. Eight people have been charged with 31 offences by the Queensland taskforce so far as police continue their inquiries. Queensland greyhound racing has suspended 36 trainers and six have received life bans from racing over the baiting scandal.

Police said the beach area was used by local greyhound owners to train their dogs. The site is remote and near a national park.

Queensland’s new police minister, Jo-Ann Miller, said she was “absolutely shocked and sickened” by the discovery.

“The people who have perpetrated these crimes are oxygen thieves, they are cowards and they are pathetic,” she said.

Detective Superintendent Mark Ainsworth said the discovery was “nothing short of abhorrent”.

He said it may be a “common knowledge dumping ground” for the industry, or an individual who used it to “dispose of greyhounds that no longer perform”.

DS Ainsworth said the varying states of decay suggested the dogs had been dumped there over varying periods of time. Post mortens are being conducted in an attempt to determine when the dogs died.

He called for those responsible to come forward.

“You know who you are. You know what you’ve been involved in and now is the time to stand up and be counted before we start knocking on your door,” he said.

Anyone with information should call Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or online at crimestoppers.com.au.

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