WA restricts greyhound breeding to registered persons only

PIC: Greyhounds WA Facebook.
WEST AUSTRALIA’S lead racing regulatory body has today announced that all greyhounds intended for rehoming will now be required to be sterilised prior to or during the rehoming process. The new rules will become effective 1st January 2018.

In a victory for commonsense that would do well to be replicated nationwide, Racing and Wagering Western Australia (RWWA) has strengthened is commitment to animal welfare and the Greyhounds As Pets program by announcing new regulations to ensure all greyhounds entering the community are sterilised.

The consequences of the new rule will effectively address a grey area of the greyhound adoption and rehoming programs, which is how to effectively regulate and monitor greyhound breeding and animal welfare outcomes given the large community of greyhound owners who are not registered greyhound racing participants.

RWWA have justified the new initiative by stating that “RWWA is committed to ensuring that the best levels of care are given to greyhounds throughout all stages of their lives, through a program of investment, education, monitoring and regulation.”

“When a greyhound retires from the racing industry at any age, RWWA aims to have every healthy and behaviourally sound greyhound rehomed. In working towards achieving this outcome, RWWA has already implemented a number of strategies and programs to assist with the increasing number of greyhounds being adopted.”

“The Greyhound Racing Industry has embraced these strategies along with a variety of new regulatory structures which have resulted in a significant increase in the adoption of greyhounds post racing. In addition to the rehoming efforts of RWWA’s Greyhound as Pets program and other adoption service providers, the improved rates of rehoming by owners and trainers through private adoptions is a contributing factor to this increase.”

“To align with principles of responsible rehoming RWWA, in consultation with the WA Greyhound Breeders, Owners, Trainer’s Association (WAGBOTA) are committed to ensuring that all greyhounds retiring from racing in WA are sterilised prior to entering the community.”

The new rules which become effective 1st January 2018, will require all greyhounds to be sterilised prior to rehoming unless the greyhound is being accepted into an adoption agency that undertakes sterilisation as part of their rehoming practices.

RWWA with the support of Vetwest has secured a 15% discount off the price of sterilisation which will be made available in the form of vouchers that can be obtained from the RWWA Stewards Department and will be redeemable at any Vetwest Animal Hospital.

The RWWA Rule 106 Notification of Retirement Form will be amended to reflect the new requirements of Local Rule 106A.

To facilitate the new rules, a new Local Rule of Racing 106A will be adopted effective 1 January 2018.

RWWA Local Rule 106A

Mandatory Sterilisation of Greyhounds retired as a pet

  • (1) All greyhounds to be retired as a pet must be sterilised prior to such retirement. When a greyhound is to be retired as a pet, the last registered owner or person responsible for the greyhound at the time of such retirement as a pet must ensure that the greyhound has been surgically sterilised by a Veterinary Surgeon, unless the greyhound is being accepted by an adoption agency that undertake sterilisation.
  • (2) In submitting the required notification prescribed by Rule 106 a certificate of sterilisation by a Veterinary Surgeon must be supplied for any greyhound retired to which this rule applies


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  1. This policy has much merit but has far more many negatives than positives. In effect,it is blanket sterilization of a breed once they have no further racing use.This could be said to be one step below genicide. Greyhounds have been around for thousands of years, circle racing has been around for one hundred years.
    This enforced type of program borders on Stalinism -"a totalitarian state in which the governing authority takes total,centralised control over every aspect which is the public and private life. "
    1.Will stop inadvertent breeding, producing cross breeds with minimal road sense. Especially in suburbia.
    2.Positive political outcomes for ruling authorities, who will be able to remove these dogs from their data base,won’t have to track the dogs welfare for the rest of its life,and can place responsibility onto local councils and associated domestic canine authorities. Well done.
    Negatives :
    1.Increased financial costs on owners -if an owner with limited finances has to choose between sterilization ($300-1000) , with a small subsidy (15%),or euthanasia ($100+),what form do you think they will fill out?
    2.Forced decision making -owners will have only one opportunity to register as a breeder or be forced into sterilization. Many participants have previously given away ex racers to unlicensed friends as pets who have over time become registered owners,bred litters out of the same pet,and produced quality race dogs,such is the blue collar reach of greyhound breeding and racing. This definitely won’t happen any more.
    3.Restraint of Trade-racing is not the only industry which uses greyhounds in being a productive part of society. Prisons (including some in WA,but not NSW ),use ownership of greyhounds to teach prisoners transitioning back into public life much needed responsibility, with amazing results.This fledgling program will no doubt evolve, possibly to include responsibilities associated with breeding,whelping and rearing. Not with this regulation.
    4.Food industry -many food industries using working and hunting dogs have introduced greyhounds or greyhound cross breeds to their stock.Grain farmers will use greyhounds to keep roos out of yielding paddocks and to help eradicate feral foxes,rabbits and other vermin with great success. Wild pig hunters, who are a sizeable meat producer for the pet food industry and also for the export industry of human consumable meat,use greyhounds, stag hounds, great danes,ridgebacks and other sighthound breeds over their robust lugging dogs for obvious results. Speed and the chasing instinct inherent to sighthounds. This industry keeps many people in the top end employed on a seasonal basis. To not allow this industry access to fertile, retired race dogs will force them to purchase pups before they are ear branded.These pups could have gone on to become top shelf racers.

    With some tweaking,exemption and discretionary clauses, and total funding of desexing by the state,this could a very well rounded policy.