Changing policy

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.

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.

Whole-of-Life-Tracking Bill

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.

Please click to send an email to key MPs and demand they support the Whole-of-Life-Tracking Bill.

“The unlawful euthanasia of underperforming and unwanted greyhounds has unfortunately been a scourge on the industry for decades.” Greyhound Racing NSW, 2018

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.

The Tasmanian Treasury revealed in a recent report that the true number of people employed in the Tasmanian racing industry including thoroughbred, harness and greyhound is 181. This hardly justifies the minimum of $27 million in government funding Tasracing receives every year. In 2018-19, this funding equated to $58.72 for every adult Tasmanian.

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.

CPG provided a response to an amendment which provides special provisions relating to the greyhound racing industry. CPG supports this amendment which calls for greater transparency and accountability from Greyhound Racing SA (GRSA).
GRSA is not subject to Freedom of Information and has therefore been able to conceal the true extent of cruelty, neglect and abuse inflicted on greyhounds in SA. If GRSA is serious about greyhound welfare it should welcome any opportunity to be open and transparent.

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.

 

If any or all of GWIC’s welfare and integrity responsibilities are returned to the commercial entity Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) this would create a totally unacceptable conflict of interest.

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. 

 

These guidelines are designed to help people submit a short response highlighting the main shortcomings of the Act.

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

As Minister Kevin Anderson would not meet with CPG, we presented the petition including more than 33,000 signatures to the Hon Emma Hurst MLC of the Animal Justice Party. A number of other NSW politicians joined the group including MLCs Abigail Boyd and Mark Pearson and MLAs Jamie Parker and Alex Greenwich.

On 18 June, the Hon Emma Hurst took the petition to the NSW Parliament for CPG.

The terms and conditions associated with the video of the Hon Emma Hurst are available herePlease refer to the Parliament of New South Wales copyright & conditions of use for full details.

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.

Tiny and Leo present the CPG petition to members of the NSW Parliament
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.

The copyright of the transcript and broadcast belongs to the Parliament of New South Wales and no unauthorised use may be made of the material. Please refer to the Parliament of New South Wales copyright & conditions of use for full details.