Page 951 - Week 03 - Thursday, 19 March 2015

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In December 2013 the government signed an MOU with the Canberra Greyhound Racing Club so that we can maintain strong integrity in relation to the code of conduct and the discharge of their duties. The commission has been working with the Canberra Greyhound Racing Club to ascertain whether any identified or banned owners or trainers from other jurisdictions have attended race meetings held by the club. It has also initiated inspections of the venue and attended race meetings and training sessions to monitor that.

The commission has ascertained that one trainer currently under investigation in New South Wales previously raced in the ACT, back in 2013, and that person is currently suspended in New South Wales, pending an investigation. Earlier in March this year the commission then received further advice that one suspended Victorian trainer had raced in the ACT. The Greyhound Racing Club have advised that that trainer had attended cup meetings but there is a watch on that future activity.

Racing Queensland announced that an additional 23 trainers have been suspended, and the Canberra Racing Club are looking to see if there is any connection back here to Canberra, but nothing as yet. The commission is continuing to liaise with the Greyhound Racing Club, and no complaints have been received by the commission in relation to live baiting in the territory.

There was a question over letters. I am quite happy to table the letters that I have written to my counterparts in regard to greyhound racing. I present the following paper:

Greyhound Racing Industry Standards—ABC’s Four Corners program—Correspondence to State and Territory Ministers for Racing, dated 2 March 2015.

Domestic Animal Services—dogs

MR RATTENBURY: Yesterday in question time I was asked a series of questions about the seizure of some dogs in Macquarie and Ainslie and I would like to respond to the question Mr Coe asked. Firstly, there is currently a case before the courts about a matter where the keeping of a large number of dogs and their welfare is at issue. In order to ensure maximum opportunity to prosecute, I have been advised not to provide members with information that may jeopardise the case.

However, I can advise members that DAS and the RSPCA have attended premises associated with this case on four separate occasions since 2010 and prior to the execution of search warrants on both premises on 10 December 2013. I note that the dogs had also been seized on a number of occasions prior to December 2013. On each occasion the keeper of the dogs was advised of his obligation to comply with legislation, including verbal advice, written directions and infringement notices. The keeper of the dogs failed to comply with any requirement or direction. As a result of complaints from neighbours, animal nuisance orders were placed on both properties in November 2013. Eighteen dogs were seized in November 2013.

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