CPG believes that greyhound racing in Australia will be banned through a mixture of public outrage and changes to government policy.
State governments were committed to allowing greyhound racing to continue after its fundamental animal welfare flaws and corruption were exposed in 2015. This makes them morally responsible for the greyhounds who continue to race.
CPG holds state governments accountable by challenging their communication around the greyhound industry and informing the public of the ongoing failures in animal welfare protection. CPG does this through traditional media and social media and responding to formal state government requests for input from stakeholders. CPG also works with animal welfare focussed parties including the Animal Justice Party, the Greens and some Independents to improve welfare policy for greyhounds.
Below are recent CPG submissions and presentations.
NSW Animal Welfare Reform
The NSW Government sought community views on a review of the current legislative framework related to animal welfare; specifically, to replace the current Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979 (POCTAA), Animal Research Act 1985 and Exhibited Animals Protection Act 1986 and associated subordinate legislation with a single Act of Parliament and subordinate legislation.
In September 2021, CPG made a submission to the Review focussing on the need for any replacement legislation to protect greyhounds from cruelty and unnecessary euthanasia.
Queensland Review of the Animal Care and Protection Act 2001
The Queensland Government sought community views on a review of the current legislative framework of the Animal Care and Protection Act 2001 which aims to improve the welfare of animals in Queensland.
In May 2021, CPG made a submission to the Review focussing on how the Act fails to “…achieve a reasonable balance between the welfare needs of animals and the interests of people whose livelihood is dependent on the animals…”. CPG also submitted that any injuries or deaths resulting from races conducted on unsafe tracks inflict “unjustifiable, unnecessary or unreasonable pain” on greyhounds, which is inconsistent with the Act.
On 12 May 2021, Abigail Boyd, Greens NSW Upper House MP and animal welfare spokesperson, introduced the Greyhound Racing Amendment (Whole-of-life-Tracking) Bill to the NSW Parliament. The Bill is designed to protect greyhounds from unnecessary euthanasia.
In 2016, the McHugh Special Commission of Inquiry into Greyhound Racing in NSW found that around five and a half thousand healthy greyhounds were being killed every single year in the twelve years prior to the Inquiry in NSW alone.
In 2017, the NSW Government committed to tracking every greyhound from birth to death. The Greyhound Welfare and Integrity Commission (GWIC) was given the responsibility for tracking greyhounds. However, a legal loophole means that once a greyhound is no longer owned by someone directly involved in the racing industry, GWIC can neither see the dog nor act in its welfare.
“This Bill fixes the error in the existing Greyhound Racing Act and ensures GWIC oversight of every greyhound that has ever been used in the racing industry.”
Abigail Boyd MP
Whole-of-life tracking is one of CPG’s 5 key demands of state governments if they are serious about greyhound welfare.
Note: The Parliament’s Inquiry into GWIC and the 2017 greyhound racing reforms commences hearings on 27 May.
Industry Consultation on Tasracing Five Year Strategic Plan
Tasracing is a Tasmanian Government-owned company and the industry body governing the three codes of racing (thoroughbred, harness and greyhounds) in Tasmania. In March 2021, Tasracing sought industry feedback on their five-year strategic plan.
CPG was invited to be part of this process and made a welfare-based submission aimed at protecting racing greyhounds in Tasmania.
Statutes Amendment (Animal Welfare Reforms) Bill, SA
The Hon Tammy Franks MLC representing the Greens in SA presented a Bill in the SA Legislative Council to amend the Animal Welfare Act and the Dog and Cat Management Act.
The South Australian Parliament then established a Joint Committee and sought submissions on the Bill.
Parliamentary inquiry into the Greyhound Welfare and Integrity Commission
The Select Committee on the Greyhound Welfare and Integrity Commission was established on 23 September 2020 to inquire into and report on the Greyhound Welfare and Integrity Commission (GWIC) as the independent regulator of the greyhound racing industry in New South Wales.
The inquiry was proposed by and is chaired by Robert Borsak, leader of the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers party. Borsak believes that “GWIC have wreaked havoc on greyhound racing with their animal rights agenda” and that “the greyhound industry has been through enough”. The deputy chair is Greens MP, Abigail Boyd.
Thank you to everyone who submitted a response to the inquiry. We will let you have an update once the findings are made available.
Review of the NSW Greyhound Racing Act
The NSW Greyhound Racing Act 2017 sets out the regulatory framework for greyhound racing in NSW and is administered by the Minister for Better Regulation and Innovation. It aims to set the foundations and governance arrangements for a sustainable greyhound racing industry. The NSW Government must undertake a review of the Act every three years and request feedback from the community.
CPG believes the Act fails to meet its stated aim of “high standards of animal welfare”. In August 2020, CPG submitted a comprehensive response to the review which is included below.
draft NSW Greyhound Welfare Code of Practice
On 16 January 2020 the Greyhound Welfare and Integrity Commission released a draft NSW Greyhound Welfare Code of Practice and called for feedback by 31 March 2020. Participants, industry stakeholders and the general public were invited to provide feedback.
CPG made a submission highlighting the serious shortcomings in the greyhound protection offered by the Code.
A petition to reject the Code
In May 2020, the draft Code and all submissions received were submitted to the NSW Government for consideration before signing off on the final Code.
At that time CPG launched a petition, change.org/protectgreyhounds, calling on Minister Kevin Anderson to reject the draft Code. The petition featured leading animal welfare groups from Australia and overseas highlighting the many failings in the sub-standard Code. Click here to view the quotes from animal welfare groups and comments by petition signatories.
Presenting the petition to Parliament
On 18 June, the Hon Emma Hurst took the petition to the NSW Parliament for CPG.
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Racing Minister Kevin Anderson releases the final Code
The final Code was released on 30 June. While the Code failed to meet public expectations across numerous areas, at least two things were achieved for actively racing greyhounds:
- the minimum 30 minutes of exercise for adult racing greyhounds that had been omitted from the draft Code was included in the final Code,
- the minimum housing pen space for a racing greyhound was increased from 3m2 to 3.5m2.
CPG’s news release of 30 June 2020 provides details of how the final Code abandons greyhound welfare.
The Hon Emma Hurst presents the CPG petition to the NSW Parliament
Select Committee on Animal Cruelty Laws in NSW
This Select Committee was established on 8 August 2019 to inquire and report on the effectiveness of arrangements for the administration and enforcement of NSW laws. The Select Committee began its inquiry in the third week of October 2019 and will report by 2 April 2020.
CPG’s submission to the Select Committee was based around our 5 key demands which the state government must implement if they are serious about greyhound welfare.
CPG Submission and Presentation to the Select Committee
On 13 February 2020, Dennis Anderson, National President, CPG presented to the Select Committee and responded to the Committee’s questions.
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