A 400 per cent increase in Animal Welfare Inspectors, a new Investigations Unit, a doubling of samples for prohibited substances, a crackdown on greyhound exports, a substantial program of engagement with greyhound racing participants and a record year for greyhound adoptions are some of the highlights in Greyhound Racing Victoria’s (GRV) 2015-16 Annual Report, tabled today in Victorian Parliament.
CEO Alan Clayton said the annual report summarised GRV’s progress during 2015-16 in addressing the 68 recommendations made by the Office of the Racing Integrity Commissioner and the Chief Veterinary Officer in reforming the sport and addressing the culture of the participants.
“GRV has now fully implemented many key recommendations including appointing an experienced veterinarian as a board member, stronger penalties for unlawful activities, strengthening integrity and compliance capabilities and new case management systems,” Mr Clayton said.
“We have come a long way in the past 12 months but we still have some distance to travel. We are now making strong progress in implementing the reforms and putting new regulations in place.”
Mr Clayton said that while 2015-16 had been a challenging year for the sport, GRV was well advanced on a program of fundamental reform with animal welfare as its first and overriding priority.
“A wide range of initiatives developed over the past year will be rolled out in 2016-17 including a $3.5 million expansion of our Greyhound Adoption Program (GAP), the completion of GRV’s new regulatory framework which will include better management of breeding, a major capital works program with specific focus on animal welfare and education and training programs focused on whole of life plans for all Victorian greyhounds,” he said.
“Our emphasis on reducing injuries at the race track was illustrated with stronger reporting requirements for race day veterinarians and improvements on the capture and analysis of race injury data.”
On the track, a record 208,000 people, an increase of five per cent on the previous year, attended 1141 Victorian greyhound race meetings while $43.7 million in prizemoney and starter and travel fees was paid by GRV.
Nationally, a record $1.83 billion was wagered on Victorian greyhound races, up 13 per cent on the previous year, which contributed to a net profit of $5.3 million for GRV in 2015-16. This profit margin is being reinvested in animal welfare, integrity initiatives and club infrastructure.
GAP also had a record year with 895 adoptions including over 240 at five very popular Adoption Days held at greyhound racing clubs around Victoria.
The GRV 2015-16 Annual Report can be downloaded at http://www.grv.org.au/about-us/grv-annual-reports/