The Australian Veterinary Association is calling on the ACT Government to assure the whole of life welfare of racing greyhounds.
The AVA has expressed concern regarding the two greyhound racing bills that were recently passed by the ACT Legislative Assembly, which did not incorporate important welfare recommendations.
“The ACT Government made a commitment to the welfare of racing greyhounds, but no amendments were made to the bill and the issues we raised have not been addressed,” AVA president Dr Paula Parker said.
“The ACT Government is accountable for ensuring the whole of life welfare for greyhounds in the ACT is at least equal to those in other states. The AVA strongly recommends that welfare assurances are incorporated in the mandatory Code, and looks forward to working with the ACT Government during the development of the Code. Penalties for breaches of the Code need to be clear and enforceable.”
Among the key concerns the AVA raised with the ACT Government prior to the bills being passed were:
- There does not appear to be a clear link between a breach of the Code of Practice (under Racing Controller Licences – Mandatory Code of Practice Section 23 Animal Welfare Act 1992) and any penalty that would be imposed for such a breach. Penalties should include fines, licence restrictions, suspensions and lifetime disqualification from the industry as appropriate to the breach.
- There is no reference to a prohibition of the keeping of small animal species that could be used for live or dead baiting (e.g. rabbits, piglets, possums) on the premises of a licenced greyhound controller in the ACT.
The association also raised other concerns it believes have not been adequately addressed.
“Protecting the health and welfare of racing dogs is a key priority for the AVA,” Dr Parker said. “It’s essential that the Government implements a robust transition plan that places the welfare of racing dogs as the highest priority and factors in all industry participants so that there are no unintended consequences.”
Based on a media release sourced from the AVA website.