The laws ending greyhound racing in the ACT have passed through the Legislative Assembly to take effect on 30 April 2018, including measures to better protect greyhounds bred, owned and trained in the Territory for racing interstate.
“With the passage of this legislation today we have fulfilled our commitment to stop supporting this industry. Documented failures in NSW have horrified our community and the independent Durkin report found that the NSW and ACT greyhound industries could not be divorced,” said Attorney-General Gordon Ramsay.
“This ban has been carefully considered to maximise both animal welfare outcomes and the support delivered to the small group of people involved in greyhound racing here in the ACT.
“Transition support packages for people and greyhounds exiting the industry are currently being rolled out with the support of Woden Community Service, which has been engaged by the ACT Government to provide case management services to each individual package holder.
“People will be able to apply for transition support packages until 30 June 2018, and the period for development of those packages has been extended until 30 September 2018. I encourage everyone who may be eligible to apply for a transition support package, which will be tailored to suit each individual’s needs,” Minister Ramsay said.
Free counselling is also available to anyone impacted by the end of greyhound racing in the ACT, whether or not they are pursuing a transition support package. This counselling service is completely confidential and can be accessed by calling the Greyhound Transition Program at Woden Community Service on (02) 6181 2895.
The two Bills passed today, the Domestic Animals (Racing Greyhounds) Amendment Bill 2017 and the Racing (Greyhounds) Amendment Bill 2017, also give effect to a number of changes to requirements on those who breed, own or train racing greyhounds in the ACT.
“These amendments give us a better line of sight on the entire lifetime of greyhounds here in the ACT. For example, registering new litters within seven days will mean every young greyhound is accounted for, whether or not it is later registered as a racing dog,” Minister for Transport Canberra and City Services Meegan Fitzharris said.
“More regular registration renewals, new licencing requirements on owners and breeders, and a mandatory Code of Practice for people who have day-to-day control of greyhounds registered for racing, will all improve our oversight of these practices in the ACT.
“The Code of Practice is the standard against which licence and registration applications and renewals will be assessed. It is being developed in consultation with the Animal Welfare Advisory Committee, the RSPCA, greyhound welfare organisations and industry participants, including interstate racing authorities.
“An ongoing review of greyhound breeding and training practice will help the government assess whether any further intervention is warranted,” Minister Fitzharris said.
For updates and to register for transition support, visit www.act.gov.au/greyhoundtaskforce or contact Woden Community Service via www.wcs.org.au/services/greyhound-transition-program
- Statement ends -
Section: Gordon Ramsay, MLA | Media Releases