The NSW GBOTA will work with both the Australian Federation of Greyhound Breeders Owners and Trainers Associations (AFGBOTA) and the NSW Greyhound Racing Industry Alliance (Alliance) in a submission to the Victorian Government proposing substantial change to the Victorian greyhound industry draft Code of Practice (Code) which was circulated last week for stakeholder consultation.

Prepared by the Victorian Department of Agriculture, the Code’s terms of reference were to establish minimum standards for the Victorian greyhound industry, an initiative that should have complemented the substantial industry driven reform already undertaken in Victoria and other States of Australia. However, contrary to the minimum standards approach, the draft Code presents it requirements in an unreasonably prescriptive form, which is simply unworkable and unaffordable.

NSW GBOTA chairman, Geoff Rose, reiterated that his Association supports the development and implementation of codes of practice that commit to first class animal welfare but they must be reasonable.

“Codes of practice should aim to assist an industry uphold consistent and reasonable standards – it should guide the industry and provide minimum benchmarks that must be met. But taking it to the best of best practice level that the draft Code does is totally unreasonable and unacceptable.”

Rose confirmed that his organisation had worked with its interstate counterparts and the media this week in providing immediate push back to the Government.

“It might be Victoria on this occasion but the reality is that the impact rolls from one state to the other so we are all in it together.

“Greyhound racing has put its hand up loud and proudly with regard to sensible reform and the commitment to animal welfare.

“Governments across Australia need to acknowledge that sincerity and engage with the greyhound industry – setting requirements that are clearly over the top flies in the face of the relationship we have committed to.”

Rose paid credit the media identities Ray Hadley and Paul Murray who have been quick to trumpet the unfairness in the draft Code and also to the Australian’s Sam Hutchinson who has presented the greyhound industry’s position with fairness this week.

He added that he felt the Victorian Government was more likely to now positively receive feedback from the industry.

“Greyhound racing makes a $420m contribution to the Victorian economy, it’s a big employer and is supported by average, decent, law abiding people who seek nothing more than a fair go.

“The comments of the Victorian Racing Minister, the Honorable Martin Paluka, in the aftermath of the initial push back this week have been significant.

“He has gone to lengths to describe the document as a draft and to point out that where the industry could show that it was unfair or unworkable, changes could and would be made.

“NSW GBOTA will be doing is bit in holding the Minister to that commitment.”

All participants and members of the community can make a submission on the draft Code until 5pm, Monday 14 August 2017.

The draft Code and details on how to make a submission can be found at: http://agriculture.vic.gov.au/pets/dogs/greyhounds/code-of-practice

DEDJTR has a dedicated telephone number – 136186 – to answer questions about the draft Code.