Page 4924 - Week 13 - Thursday, 2 November 2017

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That this bill be agreed to in principle.

I am proud to introduce the Domestic Animals (Racing Greyhounds) Amendment Bill 2017 to support the government’s commitment to ending greyhound racing and trialling in the ACT. Together with the Racing (Greyhounds) Amendment Bill 2017, which has just been introduced by the Attorney-General, the two bills represent a key step in the implementation of the recommendations in the Durkin report.

The welfare of greyhounds is at the centre of this initiative. The government has a strong commitment to best practice in animal management and welfare, as espoused in the animal welfare and management strategy. I had the pleasure of announcing the adoption of this important and innovative document in my statement to the Assembly on 21 September. The strategy includes, as a centrepiece, the concept of responsible pet ownership and acknowledges the primary role that pet owners have for the welfare and wellbeing of their pets. It also highlights the value of pets to our community and the wide range of benefits they bring. While in future we will not see greyhounds racing around a track in competitive pursuit in the ACT, we will continue to see greyhounds in our streets and parks, as well-managed and much-loved pets.

The bill will make it an offence to conduct or facilitate the conduct of a greyhound race in the ACT. It will also be unlawful for a person to allow a greyhound to take part in a greyhound race in the ACT. For the purposes of these reforms, greyhound racing is defined broadly and includes racing for trialling or training purposes. The prohibition does not capture the ordinary play of a non-racing dog.

Greyhound racing, for the purposes of this bill, means greyhounds racing in competitive pursuit. For those who decide to conduct or take part in illegal greyhound racing in the ACT, the maximum penalty will be the same as for existing offences in the Animal Welfare Act relating to illegal participation in rodeos, circuses and game parks. Despite the ban on greyhound racing, ACT residents will still be able to own, breed and train greyhounds for racing elsewhere.

This bill introduces a range of new measures to protect and monitor the welfare of these dogs. All greyhounds remain subject to the existing general dog registration requirements in the Domestic Animals Act 2000. For those greyhounds who will continue to race, train or breed puppies who may grow up to race in other jurisdictions, we will see a new framework of monitoring and regulation that will ensure the highest level of protection we can offer.

An owner of a greyhound that is to be used for racing will be required to apply for an annual racing greyhound registration for that dog from the age of six months at a higher cost than general registration. People who have control of racing greyhounds for training, handling or rearing purposes will be required to obtain a racing greyhound controller licence. This licence is also annually renewable and will track the greyhounds under the licence holder’s control.

When granting racing greyhound registration or racing greyhound controller licences the registrar will consider the conditions that the dog will be kept in, together with any

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