Updated 11 June: New Health & Welfare Standards Effective From 1 August 2018

In addition to the below we would like to address concerns we’re hearing about the timeline for implementation of the new Standards and the ‘effective from 1 August 2018’ date.

We have liaised with the RIU and can confirm that the first 6 months of the new Standards being effective, i.e. until 31 January 2019, will be treated as a transition and education period. What this effectively means is that when the RIU are undertaking their inspections and visits they will be assessing the dogs, properties and facilities in line with the new Health and Welfare Standards but if breaches are identified guidance and reiteration of what the new standard is will likely be first issued rather than a charge of non-compliance.

All Licensed Persons will have until 31 January 2019 to ensure they a fully compliant. Please be aware however that RIU reserves the right to charge Licensed Persons for substantial breaches of the Welfare Standards during the transition period. We only do this to ensure there is no drop in standards during transition. This transition period is in line, or in excess of in some cases, with both Victoria and New South Wales when they made changes to their welfare policies.

It is important to note that where applicable in the Standards it has been noted where exceptions can be applied for. One example of this is the breeding age of a female greyhound. Standard 7.8 states that: “Once a greyhound bitch turns seven years of age, her registration as a breeding bitch will become inactive. Approval must be requested from GRNZ to breed a bitch over seven years of age.

It is also important to note that the majority of the standards have not fundamentally changed from the Code of Welfare issued in 2013, but instead have been refined to increase clarity and understanding.

As stated below more information on the different sections in the Health & Welfare Standards will come out over the transition period via grnz.co.nz, On Track magazine, and your local clubs.

Original advisory starts below:

The new GRNZ Health and Welfare Standards 2018 will replace the GRNZ Code of Welfare 2013 with effect from 1 August 2018. 

The Code has been under review since February 2017, prior to the release of the Hansen Report, and has been developed with reviews by our Animal Welfare Committee. They were approved by the GRNZ Board at the March board meeting.

The aim of reviewing and redeveloping the code was to simplify and modernise it to reflect the new Animal Welfare Regulations issued under the Animal Welfare Act, which become effective 1 October 2018. The new standards will also go a long way to provide the foundation for us to respond to and implement many of the recommendations from the Hansen Report (Report to New Zealand Racing Board on Welfare Issues Affecting Greyhound Racing in New Zealand by Hon Rodney Hansen CNZM QC).

All Licensed Persons will be sent a physical copy of the new Health and Welfare Standards 2018 by early July as part of their licence renewal packs. Please be aware that in the process of renewing a licence, all Licensed Persons will be required to sign a declaration that the applicant has read and understood the new standards. 

The new standards can also be found in the Rules and Policies section of grnz.co.nz or directly here.

More detail on the changes will be published on grnz.co.nz and in On Track in coming months.

Posted on 5/06/2018 8:43:38 AM

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