Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) has launched a review of its existing codes of practice to assist in the creation of a new single code that will safeguard welfare throughout the entire lifecycle of the greyhound.
The existing Training Code and Breeding Code apply to licensed greyhound trainers and those who breed, rear or educate greyhounds. The codes are intended to specify standards around accommodation, management and care that are appropriate to the needs of greyhounds.
GRNSW has determined that these codes fail to properly encompass all stages of the greyhound lifecycle and do not address critical aspects such as socialisation and behavioural enrichment.
The review, which will be led by the GRNSW Welfare and Education unit, will be informed by contemporary scientific knowledge and best practice animal welfare standards, but will also give consideration to the practical implications of all recommendations on industry.
The review will be assisted by an external reference group of key stakeholders which will consult, advise and contribute to the development of the new code of practice. Ms Jane Brockington, a highly regarded regulatory and governance consultant has been engaged to chair the reference group. GRNSW has invited representatives from the Australian Veterinary Association, Animals Australia as well as an animal welfare scientist and greyhound racing industry participants to participate in the reference group.
RSPCA NSW declined an invitation to participate in the reference group
GRNSW Chief Executive Paul Newson said the review was a vital piece of work that will result in a more modern and effective code of practice.
“With the assistance of the reference group, this review will lead to a new single code of practice that will more capably support contemporary socialisation, rearing, education and training activities, while better achieving and safeguarding greyhound welfare throughout the greyhound lifecycle,” Mr Newson said.
“This review is yet another measure that GRNSW has taken to improve the welfare of greyhounds over the past 12 months.”
The review coincides with work already underway by GRNSW to commence a national licensing scheme from July 2016 that will ensure that all greyhounds are under the care of a licensed person at all stages of their lives.
GRNSW further supports these projects by funding and delivering numerous education seminars to assist industry participants with modern day best-practice training practices and animal care.