JOY Burch has written to Shane Rattenbury seeking a review of animal welfare laws as they apply to live baiting in the greyhound industry.
“Like all Canberrans, I was revolted and appalled by the Four Corners program that exposed the use of this barbaric practice in Queensland, NSW and Victoria,” Joy said.
“The ACT Gambling and Racing Commission has been closely liaising with the Canberra Greyhound Racing Club on whether any implicated or banned persons have been racing in the ACT. It appears two individuals may have raced in the ACT a number of years ago.
“While there is no evidence of any live baiting in the ACT, the Canberra Greyhound Racing Club has recently recommended a range of measures and actions in relation to animal cruelty, animal welfare and racing integrity for consideration by the ACT Government.
“In particular, I share the concerns of the CGRC that the penalties under the Animal Welfare Act 1992 may be insufficient to act as a deterrent and could benefit from a review to ensure consistency with other jurisdictions.
“The ACT laws provide for a maximum jail term of two years and a maximum fine of $22,000 for an individual and $110,000 for a corporation. NSW has a maximum jail term of five years, while Queensland has a maximum fine of $100,000 for an individual and $500,000 for a corporation.
“Increasing the penalties would send a clear message to anyone contemplating this horrific crime that their actions are completely abhorrent and unacceptable.
“I also support the club’s suggestion that as part of the greyhound adoption scheme, the ACT should consider providing mutual recognition for ‘green collar’ dogs from other jurisdictions. This would mean retired greyhounds that have been assessed in another state or territory as suitable to be unmuzzled in public would not have to go through a second retraining and reassessment process in the ACT.”