Greyhound Welfare / Code of Practice

NSW Greyhound Welfare Code of Practice

The NSW Greyhound Welfare Code of Practice came into effect on 1 January 2021. It replaces two previous Codes of Practice that relate to breeding, rearing and education and the keeping of greyhounds in training.

The Code sets out standards for the keeping, treatment, handling and care of greyhounds. It also includes standards for the facilities, equipment and conditions at premises where greyhounds are kept, trialled, trained or raced. In addition, the Code sets out standards for the procedures and practices to be adopted for keeping, trialling, training and racing greyhounds.

The Code demonstrates the greyhound racing industry’s commitment to improving the welfare of greyhounds across the state. In doing so, it signals to the broader community the collective resolve of the greyhound racing industry to establish and maintain the highest standards of welfare and care in Australia.

Key features

Housing Areas

The new standard for greyhound housing areas is 3.5 sqm. This standard does not apply to retired greyhounds.

Retired Greyhounds

The Code contains standards relevant to the particular phases of a greyhound’s life, with requirements specific to puppies, breeding bitches, racing greyhounds and retired greyhounds. Standards that apply to retired greyhounds are clearly marked with an “R”

ESE PlanTrainers will be required to document what they do to meet the exercise, socialisation and enrichment needs of their greyhounds. An optional template has been developed to make meeting this standard easier.
Health RecordsTrainers already keep health records for their greyhounds. These records will be required to go with the greyhound if they are ever transferred to a new kennel or owner so that the new owner or trainer knows the greyhound's medical and treatment history. An optional template has been developed to make meeting this standard easier.
Exemption
  • The size of all existing greyhound housing areas will be deemed compliant until 31 December 2030
  • Participants who meet certain criteria can apply to the Commission for an extension to the exemption for a period of up to five years
  • All greyhound housing areas will need to be compliant from 1 January 2036
Appealing decisionsDecisions made by the Commission in relation to early enforcement of the greyhound housing area standard and extension applications will be reviewable by the NSW Racing Appeals Tribunal

Resources

For the next 12 months GWIC is taking an educative approach as it supports the industry through the introduction of the Code. A number of resources have been developed to help make compliance with the Code as easy as possible.

Further resources will be developed in 2021 in consultation with GBOTA, GRNSW and the newly established GWIC Industry Participant Advisory Committee. Anyone who would like further information or support should contact GWIC on 13 49 42 (13 GWIC).

Click the buttons below to view resources:

Click to view NSW Greyhound Welfare Code of PracticeClick to view Frequently asked questionsClick to view Industry practice guides

Click to view Exercise, socialisation & enrichment plan templateClick to view Health record templateClick to view Enforcement protocol

Compliance

Excluding the greyhound housing area standard set out in standard 5.9, participants will be required to be in a position to comply with all other standards from 1 January 2021.

Greyhound Housing Standards

Unless otherwise directed by the Commission, all greyhound housing areas (kennelling) will be deemed to comply with new standard 5.9 until 31 December 2030.

Those participants who:

  • Are intending to leave the industry prior to 31 December 2035; or
  • Have made a significant investment in greyhound housing areas after 1 January 2017 which still represent high-quality housing area amenity,

Will be able to apply to the Commission for a further extension of the ‘deemed to comply’ exemption until 31 December 2035.

All greyhound housing areas will need to be compliant with standard 5.9 from 1 January 2036.

Retired Greyhounds

Fifty-eight (46%) of the 124 standards in the Code relate to retired greyhounds. These standards are marked with a red in the Code document.

Enforcement of the Code

The Code of Practice is not designed to catch participants out. The Code is intended to be the industry’s benchmark for expected conduct and behaviour.

The Commission has worked with GBOTA, GRNSW and other industry stakeholders to develop an Enforcement Protocol that will guide the Commission’s enforcement of the Code. The protocol will align with the Commission’s approach to enforcement set out within its Compliance & Enforcement Explanatory Guide

Public consultation

The Code was developed in consultation with the Greyhound Welfare & Integrity Commission, the Greyhound Breeders, Owners and Trainers Association, Greyhound Racing NSW and the Greyhound Industry Animal Welfare Committee.

A three-month public consultation period also took place between 16 January – 14 April 2020. The outcomes of the public consultation process, including a list of submissions, can be found here.

On 1 July 2020 the NSW Government published the NSW Greyhound Welfare Code of Practice. Read Minister for Better Regulation and Innovation, Kevin Anderson's announcement in full here.