An explanation of GRV’s proposed rule changes

GREYHOUND Racing Victoria (GRV) has announced a suite of proposed rule changes with the aim of improving animal welfare outcomes.

The proposed rules are aimed at tightening regulation surrounding ownership and rehoming responsibilities and will put further responsibilities on trainers in the state. These would change euthanasia laws, ensure the socialisation of greyhounds, set a minimum age for breeding and racing, require trainers to report greyhound health issues and require all owners to report the death, transfer and rehoming of their greyhounds.

A breakdown of the proposed rule changes is as follows:

Rehoming efforts

In June 2016 a new Local Rule (LR42.6) was introduced to ensure Victorian owners make every effort to ensure their greyhounds are re-homed in order to eradicate unnecessary euthanasia.

It is now proposed this rule be amended to clearly specify the obligations an owner has to avoid euthanising a healthy greyhound, provide the minimum requirements for re-homing attempts and to ensure a breach of this rule is considered a serious offence.

The new rule stipulates, prior to euthanasia, an owner must make a genuine attempt of all the following:

– Seek to re-home the greyhound with a minimum of two appropriate third parties.
– Attempt to get the greyhound admitted into the Greyhound Adoption Program (GAP).
– Pursue to have the greyhound re-homed through at least one other animal adoption, rescue or re-homing agency.

Additionally, in the four weeks prior to attempting any of the above, the greyhound must not engage in any racing activities such as trialling, breaking, education, training or racing.

Owners must also make genuine and daily efforts to socialise their greyhounds in non-race settings and environments, such as walking them for 20 minutes each day.

An owner will not be found guilty of breaching the new LR42.6 if the greyhound is determined to be suffering from a significant incurable condition, displaying negative behavioural characteristics which impact its suitability as a pet or if it is required to be euthanised in order to comply with the law.

Owners must ensure they keep detailed records of their compliance with LR42.6.

Notice of intention

In June 2016, a rule was introduced (LR42.7) which requires owners to provide at least seven days written warning of their intention to euthanise more than five greyhounds within any four-week period.

GRV has now proposed the rule be amended so an owner must provide the controlling body with 14 days’ written notice of the intention to euthanise any fit or healthy greyhound.

This rule would not apply when, in the opinion of a veterinarian, the greyhound is suffering from an incurable condition which causes significant pain or discomfort, a marked reduction in the dog’s quality of life or where the condition of the industry is significant.

A breach of this rule would be considered a serious offence.

Socialisation, enrichment and education

GRV is proposing an entirely new rule which concerns regular socialisation, enrichment and education of greyhounds aimed at increasing the dog’s chances to succeed both on the track and to ensure appropriate preparation for re-homing.

The proposed new rules would require:

– All registered persons to ensure greyhounds in their care are provided with daily handling, appropriate exercise and appropriate forms of enrichment. Included in this would be exposure to a variety of different surfaces (such as hard floors, carpets etc), chew toys such as rope toys, squeaky toys and rubber toys, regular access to different environments, changes in toys, walking in new environments, introduction to new people, sights and smells, on a weekly basis. Registered persons must be able to provide evidence they have complied with this rule upon request.

– An owner or registered person must ensure all greyhounds are taught to wear a collar, walk on a lead and walk by their collar prior to 16 weeks.

– Prior to a greyhound starting its race education, an owner must ensure their greyhound has, four at least once weekly for four weeks, been exposed to travelling in a car or trailer and spent between 30-60 minutes isolated from other greyhounds and humans. Greyhounds must also receive a veterinary certificate within a month of starting training to state it is fit to start its race education.

– Prior to a greyhound starting its training, an owner or registered person must ensure that greyhound is prepared to transition from education and pre-training to training and race related activities. Owners must also obtain a vet certificate to state that the greyhound is fit to begin training and racing activities.

Minimum age for breeding

Currently, there is no minimum age for breeding. GRV is now proposing a greyhound must be at least 24 months of age (male or female) prior to being registered as a stud dog or brood bitch.

Minimum age for nomination

National Rule 21 currently stipulates a greyhound cannot be nominated for an event before the age of 16 months. GRV stated upon consultation with the industry, it has been identified that 16 months is too young for a greyhound to be subjected to a vigorous training regime.

The controlling body is therefore proposing the introduction of LR26.2 which would mean a greyhound cannot be nominated for an event until it turns 20 months of age.

Health of a racing greyhound

Following GRV’s track design, safety and lure workshops, a number of initiatives were identified relating to greyhound welfare and the minimisation of injuries.

The workshops highlighted the issues surrounding the health of racing greyhounds throughout their careers, with the suggestion there should be a greater obligation on trainers to report injury and illness.

Subsequently, GRV are proposing the addition of LR26.4 which would require a trainer to notify stewards within 48 hours when they become aware a greyhound in their care is suffering from illness or injury which would impact their fitness to race.

Trainers would also be required to notify stewards of any injuries sustained at an event which are not detected by the veterinarian on-track.

Upon receiving notice of injury or illness, stewards may require a vet certificate be produced to state the greyhound is fit to race prior to re-nomination.

Transfer of greyhounds

In order to keep better track of greyhounds, GRV are proposing new rules as follows:

– Notification of retirement or death: An owner or responsible person for a greyhound must not provide false information when notifying GRV of a greyhound’s retirement or death under GAR106(3) or LR42.3. The controlling body may require further information in relation to one of these notifications, with a person failing to comply able to be suspended from racing until they provide the relevant information.

– Transfer of greyhound: An owner or responsible person for a greyhound who provides false or misleading information in relation to GAR117, GAR118 or LR42.4 is guilty of a serious offence. A Controlling Body may require a registered person to provide information or further details as it thinks fit in relation to a notification under GAR117, GAR118 or LR42.4. A person who fails to comply may be suspended from participating in greyhound racing until the person provides the relevant information.

Rule Amendments

A new rule is also being suggested to clarify and facilitate GRV’s focus on raising participant awareness of rule changes.

It is proposed LR1.4 be deleted and replaced with:

– The requirement that the controlling body must publish a notice of making an amendment of the rules in the Government Gazette and
– Within seven working days after making the rule or amendment publish the rules/amendments online and display or cause to be displayed a notice at each club.

These rules or amendments would come into force on the day the notice is published in the Government Gazette or as specified in the notice.

Participants can have their say on these proposed new rule changes by submitting feedback to GRV by C.O.B on Wednesday November 2, 2016.

You can submit your form:

– By email: [email protected]
– By fax: (03) 8329 1000
– By post: Greyhound Racing Victoria, 46-50 Chetwynd St, West Melbourne Vic 3003

Please ensure that all emails, faxes and envelopes are clearly titled “Local Rules Submission”.

Past Discussion

  1. heres a good chance for a savvy thinking person who wants to make a dollar.

    have a set up where all this pre preparing takes place. a small bungalow or similar where all the conditions to be met are there and for a 4 week period,a number can be handled,walked,traffic introduced,car introduction etc; etc;. for a fee.include a vet check for passing of fitness intro to breaking in. the mind runs wild thinking about it. I can hear rumblings but not everyone can do this sort of pre educating. its a business in preparation,now a golden rule. think about it.

  2. spyman great post, the AGR article is informative but it dwells in the narrow prism of isolationism. The canine reforms in Victoria include the breeding of all canines (result of a million grant to the RSPCA to report). The opportunities for enterprise on multi use racecourse with advanced infrastructure is boundless.

  3. Perhaps we could take them for a pedicure and manicure once a month to a beauty salon maybe a bit of a facial as well if they need to spoil themselves and have some me time.  Maybe off to see a dog psychologist if they bark a little too much just in case they are traumatised by the fact their bigger brother got to the best nipple when they were two days old and suppressed memories have haunted them ever since. Yes the possibilities are endless really.

  4. Deborah555  lol. I know what ya saying. what next? oops,better shut up.changes galore in this industry.stick with the cattle farm hey deb?

    I must admit,the 22c rule has me baffled.surely they are kidding/ I don’t even use my AC at that temp. its fine to have rules and be seen to be doing the right thing,but don’t make a jack ass of yourself and indicate that you really are trying to make it very difficult for an industry,as may be the case with this rule. some just rather be seen to be doing something great,but come on.that is a ridiculous rule.

    I wonder when LIBS get voted out,will LABOR continue on with all this ridiculous over ruling crap?

  5. have to larf at my own postings sometimes. I have malice entwined in my statements for obvious reasons,but some just don’t bite at all. bumma.

    but how the hell will the big,i mean breeders and rearers handle all this? by the time wheeler got thru all his,they would be to damn old to race. malice intended in some of my postings.lol

  6. spyman Deborah555  Spyman I think welfare is of course paramount what concerns me is the lack of understanding about how greyhounds are actually treated. This idea that they need intensive socialising appears to be based on the fact some of the people involved in rehoming especially certain vets claim that the dogs are stressed and  timid when they arrive at rehoming places.  Of course they would be frightened if they have spent years with a trainer and his family and then moved any dog would be nervous and wary in a new environment probably even more so if they were loved and treated well. I had a dog arrive at my farm once and it took a lot of work to help her settle in not because she had not been socialised at her previous home it was a great home the only one she had known for years she missed her old trainer. Eventually she viewed my place as her home.

    Every greyhound I have ever had in my care knows what bloody carpet is that’s the stuff in the bottom of the dog trailer and on the kennel floor in the winter the stuff blankets and kennel mats get put on. Everyone of my puppies had played with toys – beating up a soft toy and a teddy bear ( I will admit  I didn’t actually tell the lovely elderly lady at the second hand shop what I wanted them for. ) I actually found one the other day when I was digging a post hole some enterprising puppy must have been saving it for later. Every person who comes to my farm goes around and makes a fuss of the greyhounds. They meet heaps of people and other dogs at the track and I have yet to see a single one of any of the hundreds of dogs I have seen at dog tracks unable to walk on a lead properly. All the greyhound places I have been to have collars on their puppies especially if the litter is all black.

    I don’t race my dogs until they are two anyway. The first lot of trainers I had contact with were a group of blokes who had trained for decades they always claimed dogs were less inclined to injury themselves if you waited till their growth plates had finished developing at around two. I took their advice. I would have thought very few people would breed with a dog less than two years old. Any bitch with puppies had either a heater or an air conditioner if conditions warranted it. The place I bought my last pup from the pups and their mum had been in the house under the air conditioner treated like babies.

  7. Deborah555 spyman 

    Deborah555 spyman  agree, deb,toatally agree.

    I feel in this instance,the cart is before the horse.

    they need to understand that you cannot take the chase instinct out of the dog to early.what they propose is to do it in reverse.greys are natural born instinctive chasers,they are in the hound group,and all hounds have a in built gene that makes them chase…anything.so allow them to stay as feral as possible for as long as possible.

    these new ideas are what you do at the end of the racing career.by all means handle them more,but don’t kill that chase,and I said chase not kill instinct,and they are not your show dog types that are pampered daily,i feel they are missing the point,and welfare issue or not,dont baby them like toy dogs.these are athletes and chasers and thrive on being just that.

    I have 2 adopts and as time goes by,i am noticing regurlarly that there instinct to run and chase is going. because they are now house bound pampered bludgers.sometimes I have to demand they get up off the couch and go walkies.and that is true.they have become to humanized and pampered to much,

    I understand what people are trying to do,but get a bit more serious and treat them for what they are designed for.chasingand fast.otherwise they would be bred for showing only.

    I just feel these welfare people just do not have there finger on the right pulse.

  8. Spyman I was reading an article in the Tele yesterday about some celebrity who is a member of PETA criticising our beloved agriculture minister and some wag in the comments said he was a member of PETA and had a T shirt to prove it apparently the T shirt reads

    P eople

    E eating

    T asty

    A nimals

    I might get myself one of these shirts.