Greyhounds Australasia (GA) advises that it will conduct an internal review of its Greyhound Passport Scheme and has suspended the issuance of greyhound passports to the United States for up to six months pending the outcome of that review.
Under national rule of greyhound racing GAR124, GA approves passports to allow registered greyhound participants to export their greyhounds to jurisdictions that meet Australian animal welfare standards.
The GA Board is concerned that the United States, a regulated jurisdiction rated as “Close to fully compliant” in GA’s 2014 Review of Australian Greyhound Export Welfare Standards Final Report, is being used as a provisional destination for ex-Australian greyhounds who ultimately end up in China.
GA issues passports where the destination is the United States but does not issue passports where the destination is China. China is an unregulated industry that has no known animal welfare standards.
GA CEO Scott Parker said that GA and its member controlling authorities take greyhound welfare extremely seriously.
“Significant reforms around the country since 2015 have prioritised appropriate management of the entire greyhound lifecycle including finding more opportunities for all greyhounds to race and permanent homes for all greyhounds capable of being rehomed after retirement.
“Regulators remain vigilant in their efforts to identify greyhounds that were registered by them but now live overseas. They actively investigate any exportation of greyhounds without a GA passport including greyhounds that are confirmed to be in unregulated or unapproved jurisdictions such as China and Macau,” said Mr Parker.
National rule GAR124 is designed to protect Australian greyhounds from poor welfare outcomes in overseas jurisdictions. This review will identify if, and what, opportunities exist to strengthen current rule based protections.