The decision by the NSW Government to close down greyhound racing in NSW is based on circumstances that are very different to Victoria, Greyhound Racing Victoria (GRV) Chairperson Bernie Carolan said today.
The decision follows the report of the Special Commission of Inquiry into the Greyhound Racing Industry in New South Wales released today.
“The closure of the NSW industry will put immense regulatory, compliance, rehoming and operational pressures on other States, especially Victoria, as they handle a potential influx of new participants and dogs,” Mr Carolan said.
“The sport operates on a smaller scale in Victoria and GRV is well advanced on fundamental and unprecedented cultural and operational reform to ensure it has a sustainable future as a fair and accountable code with greyhound welfare as its overriding priority,” Mr Carolan said.
“This future takes into account that greyhound racing in Victoria directly employs over 3000 people, generates many indirect jobs, particularly in regional Victoria and annually adds over $315 million to our economy including $200 million of direct expenditure in regional Victoria.”
“Over the past year, Victoria’s Racing Integrity Commissioner (RIC) and Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO) have conducted major reviews of the sport, followed by the Bittar Review into the integrity of all the State’s racing codes which said GRV ‘should be applauded’ for the work it has done in terms of animal welfare and integrity.“
“GRV and the Victorian Government, with oversight from the Greyhound Welfare Reform Taskforce, have already implemented many of the 68 recommendations made by the RIC and CVO Reports including statutory animal welfare requirements, banning lures that use animal materials, stronger penalties for animal cruelty and increased inspection and investigation powers.”
“Other recommendations are now being implemented such as a new mandatory code of practice for greyhound premises and integrity issues raised by the RIC and CVO reports are being dealt with through the Bittar Review’s recommendations.”
“GRV has also committed $3.5 million to expand its Greyhound Adoption Program, one of the largest in the world, which has rehomed around 7,000 greyhounds to date and is also working with other greyhound rehoming agencies.”
“GRV has also created new senior integrity, animal welfare and legal roles and is putting in place major initiatives to reduce breeding, injury and euthanasia rates and strengthen greyhound racing clubs as community centres.”