For the record – the facts about GRV’s rehoming approach during COVID-19

On 22 April 2020, a FOX-FM news bulletin stated that Greyhound Racing Victoria’s adoption arm, Greyhound Adoption Program VIC (GRV GAP), was no longer taking greyhounds for rehoming. CPG Victorian Director Julia Cockram was quoted as saying “if GRV can keep racing, it can keep rehoming”.

The information in the news bulletins was based on a CPG News Release of 22 April 2020.

The news release also highlighted how Victoria and other states lag behind WA where greyhounds must be de-sexed and their dental neglect treated before they are accepted for rehoming. In all states but WA, this burd/en falls on non-industry rehoming groups, foster carers and adoptees. This has become an issue of critical concern with GRP GAP not accepting greyhounds for adoption.

Later that day, Greyhound Racing Victoria (GRV) responded to the FOX-FM news bulletin with the following post.

CPG response to GRV post

The intake model page on the GRV website describes the pre-entry assessment that all greyhounds must undergo before being considered for entry to GRV GAP. These tests are conducted at the GRV GAP facility in Seymour and at a number of regional tracks around Victoria. If the greyhound completes the test successfully they are transferred to GRV GAP on the same day.

On 20 March 2020, GRV published a statement titled: GAP PRE-ENTRY ASSESSMENTS: Changes around COVID-19 which included the following: “Considering the current situation surrounding canine gastroenteritis in our kennels at GAP, and COVID-19, the decision has been made to cease pre-entry assessments until further notice.”

The statement also says that greyhounds currently booked for an assessment will move onto the GAP waiting list and any new bookings will be added to this list. 

Essentially, this means that while GRV GAP may be arranging adoptions for greyhounds already in GRV GAP, they are not taking new greyhounds into the program.

As at 24 April, five greyhounds were listed on the dogs available page of the GRV GAP website with all of them marked as ‘has a home waiting’. This suggests that currently GRV GAP has no greyhounds available for adoption.

The GRV Annual Report 2018/2019 states that of the 2631 greyhounds adopted in 2018/2019, 987 were adopted through GRV GAP. This means an estimated 19 greyhounds should be adopted each week on average. 

Questions for the media to ask GRV about its position on rehoming during COVID

The impact of over-breeding

  • Given that no greyhounds are being accepted into the GRV GAP program, why doesn’t GRV limit greyhound breeding during this period?
  • According to the GRV Annual Report 2018/2019, “GRV also supported participants in boosting breeding numbers to sustainable levels for its race program by waiving fees for greyhound naming and DNA testing throughout the year.” How does GRV justify this support when the GAP website states that “demand for a place at GAP significantly exceeds capacity.”  

Limited number of dogs to be adopted

  • What approach will GRV take if all the greyhounds currently available through GRV GAP are adopted?
  • As at 24 April, the five remaining greyhounds listed as available on the dogs available page of the GRV GAP website were marked “has a home waiting“. Are there additional greyhounds that have already been accepted into GRV GAP that will become available?
  • On 30 March, a GRV announcement stated that the GRV GAP Seymour facility “will be closed to the public until the threat of Covid-19 abates“. Is GRV GAP  still performing greyhound assessments at the Seymour facility. If so, on average, how many assessments are being performed each day? 

COVID-19 social distancing procedures

  • Why is GRV the only industry adoption program that has stopped taking greyhounds?
  • Why can’t GRV use social distancing procedures as other charity greyhound groups are doing to conduct pre-assessment testing at regional centres?  
  • If GRV does not feel it can implement social distancing procedures to protect staff and industry participants, why is racing allowed to continue?

Other options available to GRV

  • If GRV GAP is no longer accepting greyhounds, why can’t it use foster carers like Melbourne charity Gumtree Greys so that greyhounds can continue to be accepted into the program?
  • Why isn’t GRV GAP calling on existing and new foster carers to home greyhounds so that more greyhounds can be accepted into the program.
  • Is GRV offering any assistance to those trainers or owners who are required to feed and provide veterinary care for those greyhounds that are not being accepted by GRV GAP?

GRV’s position regarding charity rehoming groups,public shelters and pounds

  • How does GRV justify its inability to respond to changing COVID-19 conditions given wagering revenue of $98.9 million for 2018/2019 when charity rehoming groups are continuing to operate on donations alone.
  • What is GRV’s advice to charity rehoming group, public shelters and pounds who are being approached by trainers or owners as they are not willing to be placed on a waiting list for a GRV GAP pre-assessment test?

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