Public submissions on the draft Code of Practice for the Keeping of Racing Greyhounds closed on Monday, with more than 1200 submissions received over the 60 day public comment period.
The Andrews Labor Government will now carefully consider the submissions and respond to key issues raised in them –including making any necessary changes to the draft Code.
Industry and welfare concerns have been heard, and the draft Code will be revised upon thorough consideration of the submissions and further consultation with stakeholders.
In revising the draft Code, the purpose remains to ensure animal welfare is prioritised throughout the lifecycle of a racing greyhound, while achieving workable outcomes for participants in the racing industry.
Greyhound racing contributes more than $408 million to the Victorian economy and supports almost 2900 jobs.
The Labor Government is committed to ensuring animal welfare is a top priority so this industry can continue to thrive into the future.
Once finalised, the new Code will replace the existing Code of Practice for the Operation of Greyhound Establishments, which Victoria’s Chief Veterinary Officer Dr Charles Milne said needed to be reformed in his 2015 report on the Victorian greyhound industry.
Over the past two years, the Government has worked closely with the greyhound industry and Greyhound Racing Victoria to improve animal welfare standards within the industry.
Adoption numbers are at record high levels, euthanasia numbers are down and the number of pups whelped has dropped significantly.
The Code aims to address early management and training practices to improve the number of dogs making it to the track, and provides a pathway for greyhounds to be retired and re-homed as pets at the end of their racing career.
Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford said all submissions would be thoroughly reviewed.
“It is pleasing to see so many Victorians having their say on the draft Code. Every submission will be carefully considered as part of this important reform process,” Ms Pulford said.
“Animal welfare matters to all Victorians and it’s an absolute priority for the Andrews Labor Government.”
Minister for Racing Martin Pakula said the final Code would be a crucial plank for the future of Victorian greyhound racing.
“Greyhound racing in Victoria employs thousands of people and delivers significant economic benefits to the community. We won’t be making any changes that threaten the viability of the industry.”
“The Government is committed to developing a final Code which ensures greyhound racing continues to be a sustainable and strong industry, with improved animal welfare outcomes.”