Please find following a statement from former GRV Chairman Peter Caillard in regards to his resignation today.
Statement from GRV Chair Peter Caillard
I have today informed the Minister for Racing, Martin Pakula, of my resignation as Chairman of the Board of Greyhound Racing Victoria.
I was an outsider to the greyhound racing industry when appointed in 2012 following the release of the Ombudsman’s report, and as an objective leader was able to make significant immediate changes.
Greyhound Racing Victoria is a very different organisation from when I was appointed Chairman with an entirely new Board and almost all of the senior management team being replaced with people from outside the greyhound racing industry.
By way of example, betting at GRV was banned; significant investment made to the GRV greyhound adoption program; an integrity Council formed (which included a senior veterinarian and the AFL’s Head of Integrity) plus there are significantly more kennel inspections and drug swabs to protect dogs.
However, the extensive changes at GRV were not enough to prevent the type of sickening practices seen at the privately owned Tooradin trial track.
Although I had read that the archaic practice of live baiting had occurred years ago, it was distressing to discover that it was still occurring in recent times. Had this practice been brought to my attention earlier then it could have been stopped earlier. It was not and I did not.
The behaviour shown by those engaged in live baiting is contrary to my personal values and to those of the broader industry and the community.
I firmly believe that this practice is not widespread. However, despite assurance, I can no longer be satisfied that live baiting was restricted to the small band of immoral criminals at Tooradin. I will read with interest the Racing Integrity Commission’s report considering the extent to which it still occurs.
I must emphasise that I am firmly of the view that the vast majority of participants are good people and share my repulse at this conduct. It is also critical to ensure that the rejuvenated GRV GAP program continues to prosper and dogs do not suffer as a result of what these people have done. Since the Four Corners program and subsequent discussions and developments, I have made the personal decision that I cannot remain as Chairman. I believe in accountability for a Chairman of an organisation and that it is in the best interests of the industry that a new person be appointed to this position.
I wish to emphasise that I am firmly of the view that the new team that has been put in place at GRV are the right people to work with the RSPCA to stamp out this activity once they are given the appropriate powers to do so. As a final comment, I will remain available to work closely with the Government and the RSPCA to bring those responsible to justice. I am pleased this activity has been discovered and have no doubt it will be stamped out.
I take this opportunity to congratulate the Government on taking such swift action in addressing this repulsive behaviour and taking a considered approach. It is a difficult time for all three codes of racing but I have no doubt that the industry will change and prosper given the leadership that you have already demonstrated in such a short period of time.