Wimmera helps lead racing changes
Aficial leading greyhound-racing of
has used the Wimmera as an example of ‘genuine culture change’ in the industry based on the welfare of racing dogs.
Greyhound Racing Victoria chief executive Alan Clayton, speaking on revelations that a record number of former racing animals in the state had found domestic homes through adoption, said the Wimmera provided insight into the future of the sport.
“Greyhound racing participants in the Wimmera have been part of a genuine culture change in how greyhounds’ lives and racing careers are managed in Victoria,” he said.
“Animal welfare was the key to the industry’s future. Greyhound racing generates about $3.49-million annually in value-added impact to the Wimmera region’s economy and 261 people are involved in the sport, which sustains 26 full-time equivalent jobs locally.”
Horsham Greyhound Racing Club was closed for much of the year due to restoration works, hosting 16 meetings with 1365 people in attendance.
The Horsham track underwent cutting-edge redevelopment based on animal safety and is now among tracks setting a statewide standard.
Other key findings in the report tabled in State Parliament included a 15 percent reduction in Victorian track injuries – largely due to new measures implemented to improve track safety.
There has also been a 54 percent reduction in euthanasia numbers, 1429 down from 3098 in 2015-16 and a 35 percent reduction in breeding of pups and litters.
There has also been a 56 percent increase in swabbing, with 16,137 swabs during 2016-17 resulting in only four more positive and irregular swabs – 98 – than in 2015-16.
National turnover on Victorian greyhound racing also increased by 11.8 percent to a record $2.03-billion.
Mr Clayton said Greyhound Racing Victoria had met the majority of the 68 recommendations from the Office of the Racing Integrity Commissioner and the Chief Veterinary Officer in 2015.
He added with the Department of Justice and Regulation it was continuing to work on the remainder.
“Two years ago Victorian greyhound racing came under intense scrutiny and everyone involved understood that significant change was needed to the way our sport was conducted,” Mr Clayton said.
“GRV and Victorian greyhound racing participants understood that for the sport to be viable, an increased emphasis on animal welfare and integrity was needed and these findings are indicative of what has been significant cultural reform right across the state.
“These results show GRV has established itself as an effective regulatory body with animal welfare as an overriding priority.”
Mr Clayton said GRV was pleased the Victorian community had embraced greyhounds as part of the reforms and was providing great homes for former racing dogs.
The GRV Annual Report is available online at www.grv.org.au/annualreport.