The commitment to end greyhound racing in the ACT before 30 June 2018 is set to be achieved through new legislation introduced today.
The new laws expressly prohibit the racing and trialling of greyhounds in the ACT and introduce new safeguards to protect greyhounds owned, bred and trained in the Territory for racing in other jurisdictions. Removal of recognition of greyhound racing from the Racing Act will take effect from 30 April 2018.
“In June this year I announced the ACT Government’s commitment to end greyhound racing within 12 months and I’m pleased that we’re on schedule to achieve that,” Minister Ramsay said.
“When we announced the ban we launched the Greyhound Industry Transition Taskforce to support people and dogs affected by the incoming ban. It’s pleasing to see people coming forward to take that up. I encourage everyone exiting the industry to contact the Taskforce to begin their transition now.”
Those exiting the industry will have until 30 June 2018 to apply for transition support, and the Government has extended the roll-out of the available funding for an extra three months to 30 September 2018.
“Breeding, training and ownership of racing greyhounds is still permitted in the Territory and will be monitored against a mandatory Code of Practice, to be developed in consultation with industry and animal welfare experts,” Minister Ramsay said.
“The legislation places new registration requirements on the owners and those who have day to day control of racing greyhounds, to improve monitoring of the number of ACT dogs still participating in the industry. This includes an obligation on all greyhound breeders to notify the government of new litters within seven days, so that every young greyhound is accounted for.
“Sadly, one of the blind spots identified by the Durkin Report was a genuine understanding of how many dogs die in the course of their racing careers, or before they’ve even begun. This is a welfare concern that we’re determined to address with these new monitoring provisions and registration requirements.
“The McHugh report in NSW clearly identified much damage to dogs is done before racing starts - not just to those that are deemed unsuitable and killed, but through live baiting, live blooding, and lack of socialisation that can make these dogs difficult or impossible to rehome if they’re not raced.
“As the Durkin report found, the local greyhound industry cannot be divorced from the NSW greyhound industry. We have taken the step of banning greyhound racing to ensure that the documented and acknowledged failures in NSW cannot happen in the ACT. This kind of activity is simply unacceptable and out of line with community values.
“From here, the next steps include drafting and consulting on the new mandatory Code of Conduct, determining information-sharing agreements with other jurisdictions, finalising the new fees associated with greyhounds owned, bred and trained for racing, and of course delivering education to ensure all racing greyhound owners in the ACT understand their new obligations,” Minister Ramsay said.
The Greyhound Industry Transition Taskforce is encouraging all eligible people to apply for an individually tailored Transition Support Package. For more information about the transition, eligibility and the types of support available visit www.act.gov.au/greyhoundtaskforce
- Statement ends -
Section: Gordon Ramsay, MLA | Media Releases
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