Greyhound Racing Victoria’s (GRV) priority on animal welfare was projected louder than ever before at yesterday’s official opening of the redeveloped Greyhound Adoption Program’s (GAP) base in Seymour.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Racing, Rob Hulls was on hand to open the $1.2 Million dollar redevelopment, which was funded by the State Government ($482,000) in conjunction with GRV, which is the controlling body of GAP.
The project comprises a new administration office and new kennel enclosure, resulting in first-class facilities for the greyhounds, GAP staff and visitors to the property, which has been the home of the GAP since 2004.
“The Greyhound Adoption Program facility here in Seymour is charged with the responsibility of giving these racing animals a second chance at life.”
“Through this program, Greyhound Racing Victoria is addressing the misconceptions about greyhounds as well as improving the profile of the racing industry by placing such a high emphasis on animal welfare.”
“As a result of GRV’s hard work, the Greyhound Adoption Program is having incredible success. Last year a record number of greyhounds – 354 – were retrained and adopted out”, Minister Hulls told the crowd of 50 VIPs including the RSPCA President, Dr. Hugh Wirth.
The Greyhound Adoption Program began in 1997 and the number of greyhounds being adopted into Victorian families so far exceeds 2,800. This redevelopment will allow the current number of 350 greyhounds to be adopted out each year to grow to up to 600 per year within five years.
Jan Wilson, the Chairman of Greyhound Racing Victoria, said it was fitting that Minister Hulls was at the opening.
“Minister Hulls introduced legislation into the state government which made it possible for greyhounds that go through the Greyhound Adoption Program to be unmuzzled in public. GRV appreciates the financial assistance it receives from the government and the interest the Minister has in our activities”.
“We are confident that many more greyhounds will go to homes where they will be cared for and treasured for the rest of their lives.”
“In addition, facilities have been provided for school visits to learn more about pet care and welfare”, Mrs Wilson said.
The GAP aside, GRV has taken several steps in recent years to demonstrate its strong commitment to providing a humane lifecycle for its key stake holder – the greyhound.
- The introduction of a Code of Practice, which addresses the standard of facilities in which racing greyhounds reside
- The formation of a Responsible Breeders Task Force, which addresses potential animal welfare issues within the industry
- The employment of a full-time Animal Welfare Business Development Officer, Dr. Linda Beer
According to a GRV spokesperson, “the Greyhound Adoption Program facility, particularly since this recent redevelopment, is now a wonderful showcase that the entire greyhound industry can be proud of.”