Stop greyhound suffering - Reject the draft NSW greyhound welfare code

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We, the undersigned, petition you to reject the draft NSW greyhound welfare code of practice because in its current form it will increase greyhound suffering.

We ask that you take action to correct two major failings.

1. The code allows the industry ten years to get sub-standard kennels up to the level required by the code, but 12 months should be the limit.

2. The code allows a racing greyhound* to be kept in a 3m2 space (1.2m width and 1.8m height minimums) for 24 hours a day with no minimum daily exercise requirement specified and consequently fails to meet two of the RSPCA's internationally recognised animal welfare benchmarks (the five freedoms) - 

  • freedom to express normal behaviour: by providing sufficient space, proper facilities and company of the animal’s own kind and
  • freedom from fear and distress: by ensuring conditions and treatment which avoid mental suffering.

We also ask that you take action to correct other failings identified by welfare leaders as listed below. Meanwhile, if members of the public would like more information, our full submission on the code (which was prepared by a practising vet) is available here.

If the code is not radically overhauled, the NSW Government will be responsible for allowing more greyhounds to suffer, disappear and die in this state. The public has had enough and so have the undersigned.

We submit this petition to you personally because while the code’s development is managed by the NSW greyhound regulator, it can only act within the constraints you and your government have imposed.

Yours sincerely,

Coalition for the Protection of Greyhounds (CPG)

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

* We understand there are different requirements for greyhounds not actively racing due to breeding, age, etc.

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We wish to express our support for this petition:

Dr Rosemary Elliott, BVSc (Hons), MANZCVS (Animal Welfare), MPsych (Clin), BA (Hons) - President, Sentient - The Veterinary Institute for Animal Ethics -
"It is unacceptable that the NSW Code of Practice has not included measures to address the key welfare issue of overbreeding, such as by introducing a minimum age for females to breed and a lifetime maximum number of litters, consistent with Victorian Code of Practice. Mandatory training and education to assist industry participants to comply with this Code should also be included, as per the Victorian Code. The lack of formalised education was noted in research by the Australian Working Dog Alliance as critical to the welfare of racing dogs."

Gillian Docherty, Foundation member and Chair/ Scotland Against Greyhound Exploitation (SAGE) –   “An accurate and reliable database capable of tracking the entire life cycle of each greyhound is needed in everywhere in order to monitor compliance and fight corruption. Sadly, the NSW code fails to include that provision.”

Stefania Traini, President and Co-founder - Pet Levrieri (Italy) - “The draft code condemns greyhounds not required for racing to a life of confinement which is not appropriate for other companion dogs. This is not good animal welfare practice.”

Emma Hurst MLC, Animal Justice Party - “When the New South Wales government backtracked on its plans to introduce a greyhound racing ban, Australians were dismayed that thousands of dogs would continue to suffer in this abusive and unjustifiable industry. The latest smoke screen is a 'draft welfare code' that does nothing to protect greyhounds, allowing them to be held in tiny kennels, left without social interaction, and even killed. The weakness of this code exposes the truth: greyhound racing can't occur without animal cruelty and must be shut down.

Albano Martins, President, ANIMA (Society for the Protection of Animals)  – 
“The NSW Government took no action when hundreds of its innocent greyhounds were sent without even industry passports to Macau where there was no law to protect animals. Around 15,000 to 18,000 Australian greyhounds died at the Macau Canidrome in very cruel conditions. Now it proposes a code that doesn’t even track these dogs once their racing career is finished. This is cruelty!”

Erica Martin, Chief Executive Officer, Humane Society International Australia – “Humane Society International have long campaigned against the greyhound racing industry and short of a ban, we encourage stronger protections to prioritise the welfare of the dogs, matching or going beyond those prescribed in the Victorian Code.”

Peter and Janet Flann, Co-founders, Greyhound Rescue – 
“We’ve homed more than 1,500 greyhounds over more than ten years as a charity, often using our own savings. How can the NSW government propose a draft code which allows euthanasia of healthy greyhounds because homes are not available for them? The racing and gambling industries must finance homes for all greyhounds not required for racing.” 

Glenys Oogjes, Chief Executive Officer, Animals Australia – 
“After our 2015 investigations led to the exposure and public condemnation of live baiting in the greyhound racing industry, the McHugh Inquiry findings of widespread failures to protect the welfare of greyhounds and the premature deaths of racing dogs, should have led to decisive action. Yet the NSW Government’s draft code still allows racing dogs to be kept in tiny kennels and fails to restrict the over-breeding of dogs merely to be fed into an industry that exists for gambling and profit alone.” 

Senator Mehreen Faruqi, Parliament of Australia – 
"This draft code completely fails greyhounds. The government needs to go back to the drawing board, or better yet, shut down greyhound racing altogether." 

Lynda Stoner, CEO, Animal Liberation – 
“This industry should be shut down, but in the meantime why hasn’t the NSW Government at least moved from eight to six dog racing via this code? The industry’s own research done by UTS shows this move would reduce greyhound death and injuries.”

Christine Dorchak, Co-founder, GREY2K USA Worldwide – 
“While greyhound racing should be shut down, in the interim it’s extremely disappointing to see that this code fails to address staffing, operation of kennels or record keeping. The Victorian code provides standards covering these areas and so should NSW.”

Lorraine Ramsay, Director, Rescued Greyhounds of the NSW Central Coast – 
“I get calls daily from vets where dogs are taken to be killed for their blood as greyhounds are universal donors for all dogs and this code will still let that occur.”

Lisa White, President, Friends of the Hound Inc
“After personally looking after about 600 foster greyhounds and seeing the usual condition of their teeth and nails when they arrive, this code isn’t specific enough to fix those problems and it should be, as per the Victorian code.”

Teresa (Toni) Donnelly, Chairperson, Greyhound Adoptions WA Inc
“Animals contribute to every part of human life, but this code doesn’t deliver on the human debt to greyhounds. As usual, not nearly enough is being done to prepare these dogs for rehoming.”

Spokesperson, Greyhound Awareness Cork (Ireland) –
"In Ireland most kennels are made of mesh so that greyhounds are able to at least see and touch each other. No thought seems to have been given to this in the NSW code and the profound impact it will have on greyhounds to be socially deprived in this way. Also ten years is an obscene amount of time for housing to be brought up to basic standards, even 12 months is too long." 

 Abigail Boyd, Greens NSW Upper House MP & Animal Welfare Spokesperson – 
“The draft code would allow a greyhound to be kennelled in a 3m2 space. This is equivalent to an average-sized human male being confined to a 7m2 space – inhumane conditions for a person and for a dog. To add insult, the draft code would allow industry participants ten years to comply with kennel sizes. The draft code is a weak attempt at regulating an industry that should have been shut down.”

Practising vet Dr Belinda Oppenheimer (who was closely involved in the development of the Victorian greyhound code and drafted CPG’s public submission on the NSW code) – 
“The NSW code fails to provide for the critical socialisation period of puppies; the period from three weeks to three months of age. This must be included to support rehoming outcomes, as it is in the Victorian code.”

Julia Cockram, Director, Gumtree Greys Rescue (who with Dr Oppenheimer assessed the NSW code in detail) –
“The NSW code is not specific enough and will result in poor welfare outcomes. I’m glad we don’t have it in Victoria. Things would be even worse here.”

Dennis Anderson, President, Coalition for the Protection of Greyhounds (who with Ms Oppenheimer assessed the NSW code in detail) – 
“By allowing sub-standard kennelling to exist for another ten years, the NSW Government is hoping enforcement of the code will be someone else’s problem. Not very brave, is it?”