The Greenhounds program was made possible due to a commitment by the NSW Government – in conjunction with Greyhound Racing NSW – to reform muzzling laws for greyhounds.
Under the Greenhounds program, greyhound owners can apply to have their pets exempt from muzzling laws.
To qualify for the exemption, a greyhound must successfully complete an approved re-training program and pass a behavioural test conducted by an authorised assessor. Minister Page today launched guidelines setting out criteria for approved programs and authorised assessors, which are available on the Division of Local Government, Department of Premier and Cabinet website www.dlg.nsw.gov.au.
To participate in an approved program, a greyhound must also be de-sexed, microchipped and lifetime registered on the Companion Animals Register.
Once it becomes an approved “Greenhound”, a pet greyhound will be required to wear a special green collar at all times when in public places. The collar will be affixed with a Greenhounds tag that will carry the dog’s individual microchip number, allowing members of the public and council officers to easily identify exempt greyhounds.
Mr Page said the Greenhounds program brings NSW into line with Queensland, Victoria and South Australia.
“For too long greyhound owners and adopters have battled the stereotype that the breed is an aggressive animal because it has had to wear a muzzle at all times while in public,” Mr Page said.
“This law and the Greenhounds program will change that perception and will no doubt encourage more pet lovers to choose a greyhound as one of their own.”
NSW Racing Minister George Souris said the Greenhounds program was a yet another commitment the Barry O’Farrell Government had fulfilled.
“Greenhounds will be welcomed by many pet greyhound owners right across NSW who have always abided by the law and muzzled their greyhounds when in public places, the work of the O’Farrell Government will allow these families the chance to show off their greyhounds in public,” Mr Souris said.
Greyhound Racing NSW Chairman Professor Percy Allan AM thanked the NSW Government for its support in developing the Greenhounds program.
“The retiring opportunities for racing greyhounds will increase through Greenhounds as it allows the breed to be re-trained and assimilate into a family household environment.
“The Greenhounds program in conjunction with the introduction of microchipping for all greyhounds in NSW will also have a lasting effect on the ability of GRNSW to track the life cycle of a greyhound and significantly improve welfare of greyhounds right across the state,” Professor Allan said.
“This is part of GRNSW’s ongoing commitment to improve the transition of greyhounds from racing to life as a companion animal. GRNSW is committed to working and educating our participants that there is life beyond racing for their greyhounds.”
“GRNSW thanks Ministers Page and Souris for all their efforts in making these changes a reality.” Greyhound owners are welcome to apply now for a green collar at a brand new website for NSW greyhounds www.greenhounds.com.au.
At www.greenhounds.com.au you will find information on how to get a green collar and where you need to go to have your greyhound assessed as well as fact sheets and general information about greyhounds.