Greyhound Racing Victoria has set a new record for greyhounds re-homed in 2016-17 with 1,314 dogs adopted out through the organisation’s Greyhound Adoption Program.
It is the first time the program has adopted more than 1,000 dogs in a financial year, smashing the previous record of 798 set in 2015-16.
The 65 per cent increase in GAP adoptions is one of many statistics revealed in GRV’s 2016-17 annual report that show a significant cultural improvement in Victorian greyhound racing over the past two years.
A total of 2,693 Victorian greyhounds found forever homes in 2016-17, with 1379 re-homed through channels such as third-party adoption agencies Gippsland Greys, Greyhound Safety Net and the RSPCA, as well as industry participants.
Other key findings announced in the report tabled in Victorian Parliament were:
- A 15 per cent reduction in track injuries thanks largely to new measures implemented to improve track safety.
- A 54 per cent reduction in euthanasia numbers (1,429 down from 3,098 in 2015-16).
- A 35 per cent reduction in breeding of pups and litters.
- A 56 per cent increase in swabbing with 16,154 swabs conducted during 2016-17 resulting in only four more positive and irregular swabs (98) than in 2015-16.
- National turnover on Victorian greyhound racing increasing by 11.8 per cent to a record $2.03 billion.
Greyhound Racing Victoria CEO Alan Clayton said Greyhound Racing Victoria had met the majority of the 68 recommendations from the Office of the Racing Integrity Commissioner and the Chief Veterinary Officer in 2015; and with the Department of Justice and Regulation is continuing to work on the remainder.
“Two years ago Victorian greyhound racing came under intense scrutiny and everyone involved understood that significant change was needed to the way our sport was conducted,” Mr Clayton said.
“GRV and Victorian greyhound racing participants understood that for the sport to be viable, an increased emphasis on animal welfare and integrity was needed and these findings are indicative of what has been significant cultural reform right across the state.
“These results show that GRV has established itself as an effective regulatory body with animal welfare as an overriding priority.”
New rules, improved assessment processes, new facilities, expanded foster care and adoption day programs were just some measures introduced to bring GAP adoption numbers well above 1,000 for the first time ever.
An upgrade of the Horsham track for animal safety reasons, new hoop arm lures and lighter catching pen gates were some of the measures introduced to increase track safety.
“It’s a great result to re-home 1,314 greyhounds through our Greyhound Adoption Program and to see 2,693 dogs re-homed overall,” Mr Clayton said.
“We are so pleased that the Victorian community has embraced our greyhounds and provided great homes for our beautiful dogs.”
Mr Clayton said while the key performance areas outlined in the report were very encouraging, GRV would continue to dedicate resources into its animal welfare and integrity functions, balanced with appropriate promotional efforts to ensure the industry has a sustainable, clean and prosperous future.
“It has been a priority for GRV to engage with our participants in an ongoing manner on a number of issues so we can listen to their concerns and suggestions, while offering help wherever possible,” he said.
“There has been widespread consultation through our stakeholder engagement workshops and our Industry Consultative Group while we are also focusing on building our partnership with the 13 Victorian greyhound racing clubs to deliver new and upgraded racing, welfare and industry development facilities and processes.”
The GRV Annual Report can be downloaded at http://www.grv.org.au/annualreport/.