Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) chairman Mr Hugh Armenis has described GRNSW securing a farm-stay site, for a world-first facility to care for retired greyhounds, as “one of the most significant welfare announcements in racing.”
After extensive scoping of more than 80 properties around the State, GRNSW had secured the property in the Hunter Valley, with the potential to house up to 400 dogs and be fully operational by next year.
“It’s unprecedented and this is one of the most significant welfare announcements ever made in our industry,” Mr Armenis said. “The farm-stay is a crucial step in GRNSW’s welfare and lifetime care program for all greyhounds, and significant work has been done to ensure we have secured the ideal property for this facility.
“The farm-stay – part of GRNSW’s 2018-2021 Strategic Plan – now gives GRNSW an additional avenue to rehome greyhounds which are assessed as not yet pet ready.
Plans are for the facility to be managed by full-time and part-time staff and include veterinarians and behavioural experts. The farm-stay provides a pathway through to the GAP rehoming program and long term, potentially lifetime, care.
“A core pillar of GRNSW’s 2018-2021 Strategic Plan is responsibility to the industry in the area of animal welfare, which includes the farm-stay,” GRNSW Chief Executive Officer Mr Tony Mestrov said.
“As set out by the reforms, GRNSW is committed to establishing support mechanisms to ensure that welfare is a key consideration in every operational aspect and that a greyhound’s welfare flourishes across its lifecycle.
“In order to do this, GRNSW aims to ensure greyhounds are bred, trained, trialled, raced and rehomed in the most responsible and sustainable manner.
“The farm-stay is an initiative that will help achieve this – focusing on additional rehabilitation opportunities for greyhounds as a pathway to adoption and enabling greyhounds that are unsuitable for adoption to be housed in a safe and supportive environment.
“Combined with the major expansion of our Greyhounds As Pets (GAP) program into regional NSW areas, the farm will be a major part of our lifetime care plan.”