Greyhound export restrictions stop the growth of greyhound racing

Peter Lagogiane speaks out on the export rules. PIC: GRNSW.

A PROMINENT greyhound racing participant believes the current export regulations are too strict after Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) announced last week it would be introducing new rules to crack down on unauthorised exports.

From December 1 it will be an offence under the NSW racing rules for owners to sell or transfer greyhounds to others when they know or ought to know that the greyhound is likely to be exported without a Greyhound Passport.

However, there are still no Federal Government laws prohibiting the export of greyhounds and the absence of a Greyhound Passport does not stop a dog from being exported as long as the owner has met the requirements under the rules of the Department of Agriculture.

Peter Lagogiane knows plenty about greyhound racing abroad, spending two years in Dubai training greyhounds for the Crown Prince. He says stopping owners from sending racing stock overseas could be viewed as a restriction of trade.

“I think it’s a little bit contradictory given the Australian government still allow you to export greyhounds under the Federal Quarantine Laws,” Lagogiane told Australian Racing Greyhound.

“If it’s such an issue, why hasn’t the Australian Government stepped up and changed any laws? It’s only our governing bodies which are concerned.

“I do have to give them some credit though. We need to look after our dogs and we shouldn’t be sending dogs to countries with no animal welfare laws or those which have issues.

“So I agree there should be regulations, but I don’t think we should be trying to stop exports all together.”

The current rules in place require those wishing to export a greyhound, anywhere other than New Zealand, to first be granted a Greyhound Passport by Greyhounds Australasia.

Interestingly, the Australian thoroughbred industry currently embraces its exports and foreign investment markets, particularly from Asia, meanwhile anti-racing groups and media organisations have triggered the greyhound industry authorities into overdrive.

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In 2013 GA stopped issuing Passports to Macau and the next year made the decision to ban greyhounds from going to countries where it has no formal association with a recognised central authority, such as China.

In September, GA suspended issuing Greyhound Passports for Aussie dogs headed to the USA amid fears they were ending up in China.

Much of the controversy surrounding greyhound exports arose in 2015 when an investigation by the ABC’s 7.30 report combined with Animals Australia, found greyhounds were still being exported to Macau, China and Vietnam.

Some of the footage obtained was damning and showed cruel practises, however many have since questioned the authenticity, location, age and date of the vision gathered.

Lagogiane believes this wasn’t a true representation of greyhound racing across the globe.

“I have been to America and Asia and I obviously worked in Dubai – from what I saw the conditions were great.

“I can only speak from personal experience and what I saw – but I would say they are kept and treated just as good as over here, if not better.

“Other people have been to these countries – places like China – and they have also said the conditions are fine.

“I am not talking about Vietnam or Guam or Macau – but these rules are now stopping us from sending dogs to places like America too.”

Lagogiane says a complete ban on sending greyhounds to certain countries could also stop the growth of greyhound racing on the global stage.

“I think they have jumped the gun a bit – if they want the game to expand the only other way to do that is racing internationally – bringing dogs here and sending them overseas.

“Of course we have to show that our integrity and welfare are number one – but I do have concerns this may stop the growth of greyhound racing.”

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  1. I don’t have a problem with the regulations, if China or America want more greyhounds they have plenty of there own to breed from. Greyhounds in America are as good on the track if not better than ours so why would they want to import them from us anyway.
    Exporting dogs overseas is just another method of disposal and you’re giving the activists more front page attention.
    The regulations are just fine.

  2. We cannot export them but some are allowed to import Pups we are being done over again after today the industry should be knocking Barnaby’s door down on this subject but our piss weak leaders will just fall into line. You’ll all wondering why i don’t post on here because this mob is also weak as piss when it comes to fighting for the industry !

  3. Agree with you, Bob.
    Problem is,minority and also weak state governments in this country are using greyhounds as political tools to secure the support of the greens (8-10% of the vote) to protect their tenure.
    It has gone to their head.Since when have state greyhound boards been given the authority to be the world police of global greyhound trade.
    Ironic as it is,some of our champions of the last decade now stand stud in Asia, whether greyhound boards like it or not.
    The greatest dog in Australia before Fernando Bale was probably Black Magic Opal, who now stands in China.He is treated like a god.Online pictures of his accommodation show that he doesn’t live in an australian type kennel,he lives in a dog palace! GRNSW representatives have been in China and visited him.Knocka Norris, Magic Sprite. Top shelf stud dogs from NSW helping to start quality breeding in fledgling greyhound racing areas.
    To now exclude the owners of such quality dogs from any financial gain by restricting global trade could become a federal headache. It would be hard to nominate any other Australian non native livestock that has more severe global trading restrictions,especially considering our quarantine record.
    The use of greyhounds as a political tool is starting to upset the status quo of the local product as well.Under breeding will not please the Jolly Green Giant,considering greyhounds are their biggest growth area in racing. Retirees who train a greyhound as a hobby to keep themselves active and away from clubs and poker machines are slowly being over regulated. Suburban kids who would otherwise have no chance of participating in racing livestock management are slowy losing an avenue of responsibility and enjoyment.
    Bob,this type of knee-jerk regulation cannot go on forever, COMMONSENSE has to prevail.

  4. All they want us to do ,is wish in one hand ,and they’ll piss in the other !

  5. Control boards should not be an island to themselves, , The tide sees us advancing animal welfare in conjunction with world trade and international conferences. The broad Canine industries and the horses are members of international organisations and are conference members involving world trade, Sanctions have been effectively placed on members of these international constructions from time to time. The Australian control boards are insular and only effective, if at all ,of placing sanctions on themselves on behalf greyhound racing.

  6. John your right we probably the only country in the world that has put sanctions on animal sports in a country , where the different codes of Animal Sports are so popular with all ages and in a democracy that is being dictated too by a small minority of this country, who say having sex with a Animal is ok ?. What it tell us,is our political system is failing the majority of Australians who love and care for their Animals when comes to Animal Sports

  7. Trevor there is no need for a welfare program to the point that they are wanting us to except when there is no Greyhounds out there ! Its like riding a bike with a Ash Tray on the handle bars its deemed useless !