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Comment on Draft NSW Greyhound Welfare Code Before April 14

Greyhounds are just like other dogs and they need five minutes of our time online this week.

The Coalition for the Protection of Greyhounds (CPG) is asking all dog lovers to go online for five minutes and have their say about shortcomings in the new draft welfare standard for these dogs in NSW.

CPG has assessed the draft NSW Greyhound Welfare Code and decided it fails two of the RSPCA's recognised five freedomsTwo of these five internationally recognised freedoms are:

1) Freedom to express normal behaviour: by providing sufficient space, proper facilities and company of the animal’s own kind.

2) Freedom from fear and distress: by ensuring conditions and treatment which avoid mental suffering.
"The draft code says a greyhound can be kennelled in a 1.2×1.8m space and exercised for only 30 minutes a day which fails both of these tests,” said CPG National President, Mr Dennis Anderson.

“Even worse, in the code these conditions will apply to hounds kept long-term by industry participants as a breeding dog or pet, whereas the career of a racer is usually about 12 months."

The draft NSW code also gives the industry ten years to get sub-standard housing conditions up to required standards. This would mean many dogs remaining in filthy and unsafe kennelling.

“Twelve months should be the limit to bring facilities into line with the welfare minimum. If the industry really cares about its dogs, ten years would not be acceptable,” Mr Anderson said.

“The NSW draft code is so general, you could drive a truck through it. Unlike the Victorian code, this will make NSW’s code hard to enforce and allow many loopholes.”

How can you help greyhounds?

Dog lovers can make a quick online submission until Tuesday 14 April using CPG's easy guideThe guide draws on the extensive research and analysis done for CPG’s full submission by a practising vet.

“One of our volunteers is a vet with extensive experience in developing the Victorian greyhound code. The easy guide for the public is based on her expert advice,” said Mr Anderson.

He invited more people to join CPG as digital volunteers and get involved in the fight to end greyhound suffering -

"We particularly need more people who have at least half an hour a few times to a week to keep an eye on racing stewards' reports online," Mr Anderson said."The data collected helps us to publicise every greyhound death on Australian tracks. 
Deaths occur weekly on average, while injuries are constantly happening. We're determined to make sure none of these are kept quiet."

Mr Anderson said people can see for themselves what greyhounds suffer by looking at CPG's 2020 stats page or at actual stewards' reports across Australia - NSW, WA, SA, Vic, NT, Qld and Tas.

"So far this year, 68 dogs have been killed on Australia's tracks, with more than 2,300 dogs injured nationally," he said. Because stewards' reports reveal so much carnage, CPG has five key demands for all state governments about greyhound reform. 

Are you new to Greyhound welfare issues?

Please see this RSPCA backgrounder.

Does the NSW code draw on best practice overseas experience?

No. In particular, the positive welfare effects associated with group housing of social animals such as greyhounds is ignored. Paired kennelling is already routine in the United Kingdom 1.

Photo Credit: Fiona McQueen

A detailed review into best practice for the socialisation of greyhounds in a racing context, conducted by the Australian Working Dog Alliance for the NSW greyhound racing industry, found that:

“It is common practice for greyhounds in Australia to spend a significant period of their adult life under conditions of individual housing. This is unacceptable from an animal welfare standpoint.

Dogs are highly social animals and single-housing eliminates their ability to demonstrate one of the Five Freedoms; the freedom to express normal behaviour (by providing sufficient space, proper facilities and company of the animal’s own kind).

Co-housing of compatible dogs should be adopted as standard practice for greyhounds at all stages of their life cycle”.

How does the Victorian code differ to the NSW draft code?

While Victoria also has a similar minimum space requirement to the NSW draft code, it is far more prescriptive as they are in most areas.

The Victorian Code includes specific details regarding minimum requirements and welfare standards for:

kennel roof height (must allow a greyhound to stand upright on its hind legs),
toileting yards (minimum 5m2 per dog, no more than four greyhounds to be toileted together at one time),
exercise yards (at least 20m2 with a minimum width of 4m2, supervision required at all times when in use),
day yards (for extended unsupervised exercise, contain weatherproof area and raised bed),
outdoor sleeping areas (at least 3m2 weatherproof area including kennel with raised sleeping area),
• appropriate housing of dogs in pairs or groups,
daily cleaning,
drainage and flooring.

1 “They are paired with another dog which they get on with well as a kennel mate” -

About Coalition For The Protection of Greyhounds

CPG is a dedicated group of people across Australia who work together to inform the public about the cruelties of greyhound racing.

For more information please visit

MEDIA RELEASE, 7th April 2020

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