Vic Code of Practice: Let’s state the bleedin’ obvious

THE Victorian Code of Practice document, which runs to 88 pages in PDF format, is almost bizarre in the language that the compilers have used to outline the planned regulations and rules.

Arguably, the language is at times condescending, and much of it unnecessary to anyone who has been involved with the care and training of greyhounds. For anyone interested in becoming involved in the sport, much of the care and attention elements included in the proposed new Code of Practice would be self-evident to all but the simplest of individuals.

As an example, in the section outlining the requirements for a greyhound transport vehicle is the line ‘a greyhound MUST NOT be transported in the boot of a sedan’ (page 24). I’m surprised they didn’t also add something like, ‘a greyhound should not be transported in the front basket of a bicycle’ as well.

For this writer, that sentence tells me a lot about the mindset of those who came up with the entire document. The compilers believe they are dealing with a sub-set of humanity incapable of recognising that transporting a racing greyhound in the boot of a sedan might impinge on its ability to perform at its best in a race.

As plenty of current participants have noted in greyhound online forums and elsewhere, some of the proposed regulations are simply not sensible in the real world.

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Take feeding, as another example. ‘All greyhounds must be fed at least once daily.’ (page 30) No guano Sherlock. Honestly, who writes this stuff? Surely starving a greyhound in the days before a race won’t make it keener to chase? Well, it might, but the poor thing wouldn’t be capable of going more than 100 metres without collapsing and would only be able to start if, by some miracle, the trainer managed to make sure its racing weight was within the current long-established guidelines.

Once again, the language in the food section is almost an insult to common intelligence.

The Kafkaesque nature of some of the proposed rules and regulations flies in the face of the simple fact the current situation is people already need to fulfil certain requirements to obtain a licence to become directly involved in the training of racing greyhounds.

One of the great positives of this industry has been the way it has allowed almost anyone to become directly involved as a trainer or breeder. The hobby trainer or breeder has been the backbone of the sport for its 90 years of existence, and, arguably, this needs to remain the case if the sport is to continue to operate.

Yes, this ability for almost anyone to set up as a trainer is not a perfect model. It makes it difficult for authorities to be pro-active when it comes to policing the welfare of the animals, because the manpower available for the necessary on-the-ground policing is stretched very thinly. It means that greyhounds can be subject to mistreatment, or worse.

That said, as anyone with half a brain should be able to understand, a mistreated greyhound is never going to be able to perform at its best in any race it contests, so there is nothing to gain and everything to lose by mistreating a racing greyhound.

What is definitely needed from within the greyhound community is some serious conversation about the glaringly non-workable and ridiculous elements of the Code of Practice.

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  1. In 2009 this very site reported the disqualification of Mr. Allan Burnett for 9 months. His crime? Transporting his greyhound in the boot of his sedan car. As recently as May this year, a Baulkham Hills trainer, Didier Dupuche, was convicted of aggravated animal cruelty over the death of his severely emaciated greyhound. The dog has been starved. Why wouldn't these things be included in a code of practice?

  2. There is nothing an animal activist loves more than regimenting and dictating and control- based on their self righteous belief of their own moral superiority. Dictatorship is what they really dream about - using animal welfare as the front they hide behind. Lunatic left wing rabble of the worst kind.

  3. I's far easier to name call and make unsubstantiated generalisations when you don't have any semblance of a logical argument.

  4. Well when you justify telling people how to wash dishes based on two examples of bad behaviour - I can only conclude that you wish to judge an organisation based on the lowest behaviour of a small number of it's members therefore based on your logic - given that quite a number of animal activists have been charged with vandalism, arson, damage to public property, affray and in one case manslaughter involving two lab technicians then I can base my judgements along similar lines- the bad apples are representative of everyone so therefore all animals activists are bad and need to be told how to behave. Given that many of them do not have the organisational skills to find a clean pair of pants and comb for their hair before protesting I think they need to be given a code of conduct and of course their "funds" should be open to public scrutiny as well especially those tax free ones.

  5. "Arguably, the language is at times condescending, and much of it unnecessary to anyone who has been involved with the care and training of greyhounds."

    Yeah. That's why greyhounds keep turning up with drugs in their systems; keep getting illegally exported; keep getting insufficient medical care when injured, because writing the rules down is "unnecessary."

    "For this writer, that sentence tells me a lot about the mindset of those who came up with the entire document. The compilers believe they are dealing with a sub-set of humanity incapable of recognising that transporting a racing greyhound in the boot of a sedan might impinge on its ability to perform at its best in a race."

    I disagree. The rule makers realize they are dealing with a person who have no problem commodifying a living creature and viewing it only as a profit vehicle. They realize that people who think like this are liable to make all sorts of decisions with cost effectiveness in mind rather than the welfare of the greyhound. They're just trying to be thorough because the events they describe, or similar occurrences have probably happened at some point. Take the feeding rule for example. How many times over the years have starving and malnourished greyhounds been discovered? I agree that it is sad something like that has to be written down, but it is even more sad that it is written down because it has happened and needs to be stopped.

    "That said, as anyone with half a brain should be able to understand, a mistreated greyhound is never going to be able to perform at its best in any race it contests, so there is nothing to gain and everything to lose by mistreating a racing greyhound."

    Really? Then why are there so many mistreated greyhounds?

  6. Fred,your comment that dogs "keep turning up"in situations where rules are broken just doesn't stick. In NSW so far this year there has been around 23 meetings per week with around 75 starters times 26 weeks. Total runners around 42,000.
    There has been 57 decisions made by the board in regards to trainers breaking the rules so far this year. As a percentage you are looking at 0.1% of runners so far this year having broken the rules. This includes decisions on using water buckets before a race.
    How about being a little bit more positive Fred and commenting on the 99.9% of runners that race every week that don't seem to interest you.

  7. More activist rubbish repackaged as truth. 40 states have banned it? Really?

    I think you'll find that only a handful of states have banned betting on greyhound racing - not much to do with the racing itself but more the US approach to gambling.

    Perfectly legal to breed, own, train and race greyhounds in those states - so not a ban at all.

  8. badapple... A political opportunist, they come and go.
    Any foot in the door will do.

  9. I have read all the comments on this page…I have been a trainer of greyhounds since 1994…I am a hobby trainer who won races with nothing but what other trainers called NFG dogs…I have never ill treated my dogs and have never treated them as a business. I am sick of people tarring us all with the same brush. We face a lot of crap from ill informed people. Yes there is good and bad in all humans. This proposed new code of practice is not workable and will push people like me out of the industry and leave only the owners and trainers who do deem it a business. I would like to know how many animals get put down by the RSPCA because they deem them not suitable to be placed or cant find homes for them. I have taken a lot of dogs from the RSPCA that were not greyhounds that were deemed to be put down and have successfully retrained them and found them suitable homes which the RSPCA could not. So unless you have trained, reared, broken in, raced or been involved in racing please keep your ignorant opinions to yourself. I love my dogs and racing and prior to greyhounds worked as a strapper in the horse racing industry. I help many people with domestic dogs who dont have a dam clue on how to look after them. This proposed Code of Practice comes under the Domestic Dog Act under general heading Dogs…I have on numerous times rang up about domestic dogs in my area that have been ill treated starved etc…The Council did nothing ,the RSPCA did nothing and I have rang up the department to do with the Domestic Dog Act…they have done nothing…So maybe they should get their own back yard cleared up first before trying to take control of the Racing Dog Industry…Had enough…Get Educated Please…Thankyou

  10. Dear fosterofgreys,
    What a load of…I was stating the facts if you want to complain about greyhounds and the way they are treated then the domestic dog act needs to clean up their act as so many domestic dogs are ill treated too including greyhounds that have been re-homed into the general public and nothing is done about it when reported to the authorities which included the RSPCA …I know because as I said I reported it read my listing above…I know for a fact that all my trainers that i know even if their kennels dont have heating they have rugs on and blankets in their kennels…if they didnt and the dog was cold it would loose weight and not meet the weight required from last start…

    .How many domestic dogs live outside with a little outside kennel to sleep in…well loved and well looked after… not all domestic dogs live inside do they…Nor is their kennel outside is airconditioned or heated.

    .I am a trainer who had a basic kennel no it was not airconditioned or had central heating but you could not, nor could the stewards, nor the public dispute the fact they were loved and well cared for AND WERE NFG DOGS THAT I RE-EDUCATED AND WON IN THE CITY WITH…remember the saying a home is only what you make it…I have seen trainers and worked for trainers who have fancy kennels and their dogs are well cared for etc. but do not love their dogs like those who dont have fancy kennels and they the large establishments treat the dogs like a business.

    …if you wanna do good stand by us the hobby little trainer and help us get a fair and equal level playing field as those bigger establishments who I wont name…You are just another idiot who is uneducated although means well and loves animals which is good to see but like the old saying goes… the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

    As for vets they check dogs every time you go over a table at race tracks…Vets dont know everything in fact I have lost 3 Greyhounds, 2 who were retired and one who was a racing dog due to Vets not being educated in the make up of a greyhound…Also you would not get a dog passed over a table that had a flea on it let alone one covered in fleas you idiot. Plus there are kennel inspections…

    Did You Know that when you do a blood on a greyhound its reading is different to the ordinary dog…You know the reading level on the right of say your white cells your red cells your pack cell volume etc etc reading…thats the reading the white cell or red cell should read between but for a greyhound it varies from that slightly…

    .Did you also know as a foster carer of greyhounds(I am assuming from your name) to inform people that some greyhounds in summer need electrolites and some greyhounds just love to bolt round and to watch for acidosis if they have done this all day when they the owners are out or whatever… Do you also as a foster carer know what to do and inform new owners (I assume you re-home greyhounds) as to what to do if for what ever reason a vet is not available ? mmmmmm I wonder…

    I know of one person who had a retired greyhound who had a beautiful home for it but didnt realise until it was too late that the greyhound loved to run and left it in a well kept good sized yard…it ran and ran all day…it had shade water.good fencing…but when they got home it was laying on the ground…they couldnt get a vet straight away…had they got that dog up and started walking it cooling it down etc and got electrolites into that dog it would have lived… but by the time a vet was available 6 hours later as they did not have the cash in their back pocket to pay the vet down the road up front… had to find a vet that would except credit… the dog died.

    The dog was given to them by a foster carer who as lovely and well intended but did not have the knowledge of the greyhound breed and because it was retired treated it as a normal domestic dog who needed re-homing…

    As For The RSPCA i would still like to know how many dogs they put down cause they cannot be re-homed, or are not suitable whatever…If we talk about how many greyhounds get put down then look at right across the board…RSPCA…Councils or.people who take in dogs for fostering and cant find homes or cant reeducate them into another home etc etc… thats all I am saying…its not venting its asking you idiot…

    Any future comments from this point on from you shall be ignored. Have a great life but get educated and remember people can be sued for slander and defamation so make sure you point the finger at the right person and dont tar us all with the same brush…and if you do find someone ill treating a dog regardless of breed report it or tell me and i will do something about it,

    WE the trainers in Victoria are objecting to an unworkable Code of Practice written by Government departments and their staff who have nothing to do with racing and should have been written by the participants and the GRV. to improve the industry and eliminate the handful that have given us, the majority a bad name to protect our beloved dogs and the trainers who love them and to give a more fairer and equal playing field to small , or hobby trainers which we dont have and never have had… This code of practice is just dictatorship by dickheads who think they know everything and know nothing …trying to tell their mothers how to suck eggs and the grv passing theyre responsiblities and duty of care of the greyhounds and trainers over to outsiders whilst making themselves look good…

    Thankyou and dont ever tell me what and when i can have an opinion on something. Its called freedom of speach which is based on my many many years of experience within the horse and greyhound racing industry. And i was not venting i was asking …it is called an opinion