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Letter from Adam Wallish to Clarify Issues on the Animal Welfare – Penalty Guidelines

Dear Members,

The recent release of GRV’s new Animal Welfare – Penalty Guidelines has generated considerable discussion among our membership base, particularly in relation to the training of greyhounds both on private and GRV registered Trial Tracks.

The Animal Welfare – Penalty Guidelines highlighted relevant sections of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 (POCTA) that refer specifically to the training of greyhounds and coursing dogs. The guidelines indicated that GRV would support the relevant authorities in their investigation and prosecution of offenders under this Act.

The POCTA rules have been in place since the Act came into effect in 1986, with the most recent amendment being the increase of the penalties related to the offence to include a more substantial fine and possible imprisonment in the event of a law breach. These important changes were communicated to the industry in the February 2008 edition of the Adviser.

For clarification, the relevant legislation for the topic that has been the source of recent discussions is section 13 (1)(d) and (1)(e).

POCTA – 13 Baiting and luring

                      (1)    A person who—

                                 (d) uses an animal as a lure or kill for the purpose of blooding greyhounds or in connexion with the training and racing of any coursing dog; or

                                 (e) keeps or has the custody, care or control of an animal for use as a lure or kill for the purpose of blooding greyhounds or in connexion with the training and racing of any coursing dog

GRV also has Local Rules in place – LR 18.4, 18.5 & 18.6 – that refer specifically to the use of live animals in the training of greyhounds. These local rules have been in place for a significant period of time, leaving no doubt regarding GRV’s position on the matter.

GRV has no tolerance to the use of live animals for the training of greyhounds, in any circumstance. Also, since 2009 it has been a GRV policy that only cured skins and synthetic material is used on the arms at trials at GRV tracks.

Despite recent discussion generated through the release of the Animal Welfare – Penalty Guidelines, the rules in relation to non-living animals at trial tracks have not changed. However, these non-living animals must be legally and humanely sourced

GRV strongly advises owners and trainers that live animals of any species that could be considered a potential lure or bait should not be housed at a greyhound training facility – whether it be a private property or a trial track – to prevent any confusion in relation to POCTA 13 (1)(e)

For further information please contact the GRV Greyhound Welfare Department on: 03 8239 1100.

Adam Wallish

Chief Executive
Greyhound Racing Victoria

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