A greyhound dog drinks water after a race at Santiago city, March 1, 2014. Reuters/Ivan Alvarado

Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) has said it is unfortunate that evidence of a possible greyhound burial site has been removed, north of Newcastle. Officers went to examine the site on Monday after reports came in of at least seven canine skulls in bushland at Swan Bay. However, the inspectors after reaching the site could find only one of the skulls.

“It appears the remains have been removed ... Certainly from the one skull we have found, certainly there appears to be two areas on the skull that appear to have fractures in it,” Scott Myers from RSPCA told the ABC.

Myers revealed that the breed of the dog could not be ascertained but added that the dog had a fractured skull. Local resident Bobbie Antonic had earlier alerted the RSPCA saying some of the skeletons appeared to have the same kind of blunt force injury to their heads and all the skeletons were wrapped in a tarpaulin. She said that her friend raised an alarm after finding two such skulls in area of bushland. She examined the site herself and found at least seven skulls.

“So my role and the role of the RSPCA at this stage is to investigate that complaint and ascertain whether there have been any animal-cruelty-related offences,” RSPCA chief inspector, David O'Shannessy, said.

As the bones were found on public property, investigating is difficult as any number of people has access to it. Had they been found on private property, it would have been easier to establish a link with the possible person responsible. O'Shannessy urged people with any information on the incident to come forward and help.

New South Wales government announced in July that greyhound racing would be banned from July 2017. The ban was imposed after a special commission of inquiry found evidence of animal cruelty, live baiting and mass greyhound killings.