Despite recently made claims by the Coalition for the Protection of Greyhounds and reported by the ABC on 22 February 2020; when greyhounds are sold, retired, or given away to members of the public who are not industry participants, they remain protected.
“Greyhounds that are retired to non-industry participants are under the protection of local council rangers, the RSPCA and Animal Welfare League officers”, Greyhound Welfare & Integrity Commission CEO, Ms Lind said.
The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979 applies to take action against any member of the community who engages in acts of cruelty in relation to their retired greyhounds.
It is concerning that the Coalition for the Protection of Greyhounds seems to believe that greyhounds who are retired as pets to animal loving members of the community are at risk of being abused or killed.
In relation to the question raised in the article, ‘where do the rest go’ (referring to the suggested gap between number of greyhounds bred and numbers rehomed), many greyhounds, once retired, remain with their owners or trainers and happily live out the term of their natural lives.
Since the establishment of the Commission on 1 July 2018, 2061 greyhounds have been reported as retired, of which 817 were retained by industry participants and 1244 retired and/or rehomed to members of the public, either directly or via rehoming organisations.
The latest retirement statistics are available at on the GWIC wesbsite : https://www.gwic.nsw.gov.au/about/reports-and-statistics/retirement-and-end-of-life-report .
When greyhounds are retired, the Commission’s rehoming policy requires all industry participants to advise the Commission of the nature of the retirement.
In late 2019 the Commission conducted a program as part of its ongoing tracking of registered greyhounds to identify if an inordinate number of greyhounds where being rehomed to the same person or to fictitious people.
“Our programs have revealed that there is no evidence of systemic disappearance of greyhounds as a result of being rehomed to private individuals”, Ms Lind said.
Greyhounds rehomed via the Greyhounds as Pet’s program operated by GRNSW are placed onto the NSW Companion of Animals Register operated by the NSW Office of Local Government and all new owners are obliged to ensure their details are placed on the NSW Pet Registry so that Local Council and RSPCA inspectors are able to check on their welfare. The Commission will also be facilitating the registration of industry greyhounds, being retired to non-industry owners, onto the NSW Pet Registry.
The Commission will pursue any participant who knowingly rehomes their greyhound to a third party, knowing that party intends to euthanise the dog and/or any instance where a greyhound disappears or has been euthanised in breach of Commission policies. To date the Commission has not received any intelligence or complaint(s) that this is occurring.