Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) and Greyhound Racing Victoria (GRV) have adopted a joint animal welfare strategy that will establish new standards of animal welfare excellence in the greyhound racing industry.
The joint animal welfare strategy seeks to drive improvements in all areas of greyhound welfare including breeding, racing, re-homing as well as participant education.
The joint strategy will result in the introduction and development of various animal welfare initiatives, including:
Higher levels of education for trainers and breeders including a requirement for all new participants to be assessed on core competencies before obtaining or upgrading a licence;
- Tighter controls on breeding regulation and the promotion of more responsible breeding practices;
- A requirement for all greyhounds to be under the care of a registered participant at all times during their lifecycle, unless retired as a pet;
- Improved inspection and compliance requirements on greyhound properties;
- A star rating system to be introduced for all greyhound facilities at which greyhounds are housed during their lifecycle;
- A tiered system of trainer licence types which will stipulate how many greyhounds a trainer can train;
- Ongoing enhancements to each of the state’s Greyhound Adoption Programs to maximise the re-homing opportunities for retired greyhounds; and
- New measures to maximise racing opportunities and ensure all greyhounds have the ability to reach their full potential.
The joint strategy builds on the welfare achievements already put in place by the two leading greyhound racing bodies such as the announcement of an extra $2.6 million of funding to animal welfare initiatives in Victoria last year, including $1.4 million to the Greyhound Adoption Program (GAP), as well as GRNSW’s development of the Certificate II in Racing (Greyhounds) in conjunction with TAFE NSW.
GRV Chairman, Peter Caillard, said the joint animal welfare strategy was the next step in establishing animal welfare standards which were nationally accepted and consistent.
“Greyhounds are what racing is about. Today’s announcement is an important step towards ensuring that they are looked after and treated properly at all stages of their life. There is no greater priority.” Mr Caillard said.
“Animal welfare is one of our major priorities and this joint strategy builds on the significant progress already made by GRV in this area over the past decade.”
GRNSW Chairman Eve McGregor said the joint animal welfare strategy heralded a new era of cooperation between NSW and Victoria on an issue of growing importance to the sport.
“GRNSW is acutely aware that the continued success of the greyhound racing industry is closely linked to continued improvements in animal welfare,” Ms McGregor said.
“The animal welfare strategy GRNSW and GRV have released today will ultimately deliver world-class levels of care for all racing greyhounds through greater education and maximising opportunities for all greyhounds to reach their full potential.”
In the coming weeks, GRNSW and GRV will engage the other greyhound racing jurisdictions to encourage them to adopt the approach outlined in the joint strategy and provide assistance in achieving the same welfare outcomes.
This strategy has been strongly considered by both governing bodies with the ongoing success of the entire greyhound racing industry a major focus.
Resources will also be pooled between the two organisations to ensure there is consistency for participants and greyhounds across the states.