Response to proposed greyhound racing ban in ACT

Media release date: 
Thursday, 02 November 2017

The ACT Legislative Assembly has introduced two bills that if passed, will see the end of greyhound racing in the territory from 30 April 2018. The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) has advised the ACT government that Greyhound welfare could be ensured without the need to end racing.

President of the AVA, Dr Paula Parker, said the AVA’s policy is that wherever greyhound breeding, rearing, training and racing occurs, the welfare of the dogs must be ensured.

“We have been actively working with other state governments to implement reforms in the greyhound racing industry, to raise the standards of animal welfare. If this can be achieved, it would remove the need to legislate against greyhound racing.
“Industry reform focused on whole of life welfare of greyhounds is essential. In New South Wales we were pleased to see the establishment of an independent Greyhound and Integrity Commission and a new governance framework to improve industry standards.
“We will continue working with state and territory governments to implement reforms within Greyhound Racing and we will keep a watchful eye to ensure these reforms are implemented effectively. It’s essential that veterinarians remain involved in the care of these dogs throughout their lives, regardless of where they race.
“Protecting the health and welfare of racing dogs is a key priority for the AVA. The welfare standards of racing greyhounds must be maintained before, during and after their racing careers so that welfare issues in this industry are a thing of the past,” Dr Parker said.
If the bills are passed, the AVA will support its members who may be affected by the ban and await more information from the ACT Government about how they will factor them into their transition plan.

“The AVA is willing to work with the ACT Government to assist in the formulation of a transition plan that will guarantee the welfare of racing greyhounds and the veterinarians involved in the industry.

“The veterinary profession will be watching greyhound racing in all jurisdictions closely, and we will continue to advocate for better welfare outcomes for racing greyhounds. From a strategic level through to the policy and on-track aspects of the industry, veterinarians will be more involved than ever, and speaking out against poor welfare wherever they find it,” she said.


For further information and requests for interviews contact the AVA media office on (02) 9431 5062, 0439 628 898 or

The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) is the only national association representing veterinarians in Australia. Founded in 1921, the AVA today represents 9000 members working in all areas of animal science, health and welfare.

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