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July 14th, 2018 by admin

Old greyhounds could keep running in slower races under Victorian plan

Divi Minister for Racing, Martin Pakula says greyhounds could get a reprieve from death row if they raced into old age Photo: Kate HealySlow, ageing greyhounds could get their own race circuit to “extend their lives”, Victoria’s racing minister has said.
Nanjing Night Net

At the opening of a greyhound shelter in Ballarat, racing minister Martin Pakula decried New South Wales’  “sledgehammer” ban on greyhound racing, saying that Victoria’s reforms would give the industry the “opportunity to thrive and survive” with a “new culture of animal welfare”.

The number of greyhounds killed in Victoria will be revealed in an industry report to be released in the coming weeks, Mr Pakula said.

The report will come at a time of crisis in the industry following live-baiting scandals and widespread concerns about the euthanasing of slow or old dogs.

The Victorian government has chosen to ratchet up regulation of the industry over the outright ban implemented in NSW.

This has come with a push to rehome the industry’s many unwanted or retired greyhounds, which  have been cast as low-maintenance family pets.

“We’re not for the moment saying that we’re at the end of the road but we’ve travelled a fair way down the road of cultural change and this industry, I am confident, will survive as a consequence,” he said.

Since recommendations were implemented, breeding rates had decreased 30 per cent and almost 900 dogs had been rehomed over the past year, Mr Pakula said.

Mr Pakula refused to comment on whether greyhounds would still be put down, and for what reasons, if the adoption program expands.

“Dogs, whether they be greyhounds or any other dog, are euthanased for a variety of reasons but the purpose of this facility and absolute determination of the board of Greyhound Racing Victoria (GRV) is to get those numbers down as low as they possibly can go.

“GRV is looking at all sorts of ways the lives of racing greyhounds can be extended and one of the things GRV is working on actively is about more races for older and slower dogs.”

Asked whether the kennel would receive funds from the government, Mr Pakula said the kennels were funded by “racing industry money returning to the racing industry”.

This funding from the Victorian Industry Racing Fund (VIRF) is drawn on by all racing codes and includes unclaimed dividends and on-course wagering taxes, Mr Pakula said.

Mr Pakula also announced a $170,000 upgrade to the Ballarat Greyhound Racing Club’s function centre, half of which has been funded through VIRF.

– Ballarat Courier

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.