The Board of Greyhound Racing Victoria (GRV) at its June 2015 meeting resolved to suspend the acceptance of registrations for the Greyhound Owners and Breeders Incentive Scheme (GOBIS) and develop an exit strategy that will eventually lead to the finalisation of the scheme in its current design and purpose.
The decision follows a recommendation to cease the scheme provided by the GOBIS Committee which is comprised of representatives from GRV management, the GOTBA and greyhound racing clubs.
GRV will cease to accept GOBIS registrations as of Wednesday 8 July 2015.
With the suspension of registrations, the GOBIS Committee will develop an exit strategy that encompasses the determination of the date when GOBIS races will no longer be conducted and a fair fee reimbursement to members that have registered for the scheme. It is expected this exit strategy will be developed by July 31.
The remaining GOBIS funds – following any reimbursement to members – will be redistributed into better focused initiatives for the improvement of the Victorian greyhound racing industry including further enhancements to the Greyhound Adoption Program (GAP) and a focus on responsible breeding initiatives.
The redistribution of these funds into further welfare initiatives is consistent with Recommendation 4.5 of the Chief Veterinary Officer’s (CVO) report, which states:
That a review of financial and other incentives be conducted by a Greyhound Racing Victoria led working group, including representation from the Department of Economic Development and RSPCA, to develop options that may be effective to reduce numbers of greyhounds being bred, improve rehoming rates after retirement (Greyhound Adoption Program) and to fund improved post-racing retirement outcomes.
GRV will consult with appropriate organisations on the redistribution of the funds in due course.
GRV Chairman, Ray Gunston, said the decision reflected the need for the greyhound industry to establish a much more responsible and acceptable structure and welfare orientated culture.
“It is critical that all Rules, policy settings, racing and training practices, and prizemoney and funding structures are focused to achieving the right outcomes. GOBIS in its current form does not achieve this,” Mr Gunston said.
“Redirecting such funding to matters such as responsible breeding initiatives and GAP is a much more appropriate approach to better greyhound lifecycle welfare.
“The Board took into consideration information that was received through a number of sources and agreed with the recommendation of the GOBIS Committee that the scheme needed to cease.
“Tough decisions need to be made in this current climate. The Board is determined to ensure the sustainability of the greyhound racing industry in Victoria.
“It is the Board’s view that GOBIS is not consistent with our focus on ensuring a sustainable and acceptable greyhound industry in Victoria and as such the decision has been made to finalise the scheme.”
– GOBIS registrations will no longer be taken as of Wednesday 8 July.
– A detailed exit strategy will be developed by 31 July.
– GRV will advise of the date of discontinuation of GOBIS races and with that the way in which registration fees will be reimbursed.
– Remaining GOBIS funds following any reimbursement to members will be redistributed into other welfare initiatives subject to appropriate consultation.