GOTBA Vic has recently become aware that one or more animal activist organisations appear to be currently carrying out highly coordinated, covert, illegal surveillance on properties of registered Victorian greyhound trainers. While the focus appears to be on trainers in Western Victoria, there can be no assurance that surveillance is limited to those areas.
This activity is illegal. It occurs as part of a campaign to destabilise, and ultimately end, greyhound racing by any means possible.
Proper covert surveillance by regulatory authorities in accordance with the law is a fair tool in the regulation of our industry. Surveillance outside those parameters - by anyone - is a serious breach of the law and the basic rights of members of a society, for which contraveners may (and should) be exposed to significant penalties.
To be clear, we have more than one member who has found surveillance devices in their kennel blocks and on their property generally in the last 24-48 hours. Members should consider carefully checking their properties for the presence of surveillance devices, focussing particularly on kennel areas but not solely on them.
Members who find suspicious devices on their properties should promptly first make a report to their local police station and then report this to GRV (suspicious activities hotline - 1300 856 109). Only after doing those things (or on advice of those authorities) should any devices be removed, but not destroyed. We also strongly encourage members to keep their own written record of the times, dates and details (names of people spoken to, notes of content) of all conversations with police and GRV in this regard, even if those reports do not give rise to immediate action. It is GOTBA Vic’s firm view that openness and reporting of any such discoveries is in the best interests of individual participants and the industry as a whole.
We at GOTBA Vic will continue to do everything within our power to represent the best interests of our members and the sport of greyhound racing.
Rest assured that GOTBA Vic will be actively progressing and lobbying for further investigation and exposure of this apparent campaign and its tactics by any means open to us.