Victorian families soon won’t have to muzzle their pet greyhound when they take them out for a walk or to the park for a play, thanks to new regulations that will come into force in the coming weeks.
Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes met with Greyhound Racing Victoria at their Greyhound Adoption Program Café to discuss the changes to the Domestic Animals Act 1994, which will enable all non-racing greyhounds to be muzzle-free from 1 January 2019.
These changes have been welcomed by the greyhound community, who have long-pushed for these reforms.
Previously, only greyhounds that had successfully completed an assessment under Greyhound Racing Victoria’s Greyhound Adoption Program were able to go without a muzzle in public.
Greyhounds must still be leashed at all times, including in council off-leash areas.
A new resource kit developed by Animal Welfare Victoria – Responsible Pet Greyhound Ownership Education Resource – will also be released on 1 Jan.
The kit includes information about health, exercise and training for greyhounds, as well as owners’ responsibilities under relevant state and council laws – including desexing, microchipping and registration.
The resource kit will support the important work being done by greyhound rehoming organisations.
A new Code of Practice for the Keeping of Racing Greyhounds will take effect on 1 January 2020, which sets the minimum standards to prioritise the ongoing welfare of racing greyhounds, while providing flexibility to greyhound industry participants.
For more information about the code, visit agriculture.vic.gov.au.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes
“These changes will make it easier for families with greyhounds to enjoy the company of their beloved pet and encourage more people to bring greyhounds into their home.”
“The new education resource will be a valuable tool for new and existing pet greyhound owners, and support the important work being done by greyhound rehoming organisations.”
Quote attributable to Minister for Racing Martin Pakula
“The Greyhound Adoption Program and other groups have seen record numbers of adoptions in recent years, making retired greyhounds a popular addition to Victorian families.”