Greyhounds Australasia releases Review of Greyhound Export Welfare Standards

Tuesday 24 June 2014

Peak national greyhound racing body Greyhounds Australasia (GA) today published its final report into Australian greyhound export welfare standards, with the GA Board accepting each of the report's 12 recommendations including maintaining GA's suspension of the issuance of passports to Macau.

GA CEO Scott Parker said the final report confirmed Australian greyhound welfare standards were world class but that the industry faced challenges in stopping greyhound exports to countries GA has assessed as not fully compliant with GA's Required Standards for Countries Seeking to Import Australian Greyhounds.

"The report's assessment of greyhound welfare standards in export destinations against Australian industry standards leaves me in no doubt that Australia is a racing greyhound welfare world leader. Our industry is well placed to work with, and improve, welfare outcomes in countries that are not fully compliant with our standards.

"Our biggest challenge is that, despite the industry's rule that registered participants must obtain a GA issued passport before export, GA cannot control the destination of Australian greyhound exports. Because GA's Passport Scheme does not have the regulatory backing of Australian law and does not form part of the compulsory quarantine and export regulations required by the Federal Department of Agriculture's Biosecurity Unit, the industry's rule is not legally enforceable.

"GA is uncomfortable with the number of Australian greyhounds apparently leaving the country without a GA issued passport. But while the Department is supportive of GA's Passport Scheme, it cannot enforce it without legislative amendment to the Commonwealth Export Control Act 1982.

"GA will lobby the Federal government for the required change to the Act which would make it mandatory for exporters (whether they are registered industry participants or not) to comply with GA's Passport Scheme and allow GA to control where Australian racing greyhounds are exported," Mr Parker said.

The final report identifies the United Kingdom and Czech Republic as fully compliant with GA's required standards and Ireland, the United States and New Zealand as being close to fully compliant. Vietnam did not cooperate with the review, indicating no future requirement to import Australian greyhounds, and are therefore non compliant. GA will not issue passports to that destination. Passport applications to all other destinations will be assessed on a case by case basis and approved only if that destination complies with GA's Required Standards to Import Australian Greyhounds.

"GA condemns the mistreatment of greyhounds by any individual anywhere, at any time. The conduct of this review and the implementation of the report's recommendations will enhance GA's efforts to protect greyhound welfare across the world," Mr Parker said.

For a full copy of the report, please view the attachment below.

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