GRNSW is strongly committed to upholding animal welfare standards for Australian greyhounds within Australia and also assessing the adequacy of arrangements in international exports destinations for those greyhounds. GRNSW has, and continues, to support Greyhound Australasia’s decision to suspend issuing any greyhound passports for destinations with inadequate welfare standards, including Macau and Dubai.
In late 2015, during its time as the regulator of the greyhound racing industry in NSW, GRNSW commissioned an independent Inquiry into the Unauthorised Export of Greyhounds.
Prominent industry participants have been among those charged by the Inquiry and found guilty of serious breaches of the export Rules, resulting in periods of disqualification and substantial fines. In addition to laying a number of charges against key industry participants, the Inquiry has led to significant process improvements and changes to the national regulation and management of the international export of registered greyhounds. GRNSW has used learnings from the Inquiry to guide proposed amendments to the national Greyhound Racing Rules, and will continue to promote and protect animal welfare for Australian greyhounds.
On 9 June 2016, GRNSW announced that 179 industry participants faced charges in relation to the unauthorised export of greyhounds. The responses and information provided by those participants ultimately led to the identification of the key players involved in the unauthorised export of greyhounds. On 23 October 2017, the Steward chairing the Inquiry found Mark, Donna and Stephen Farrugia guilty of over 180 charges between them in relation to the export of greyhounds to China and Macau. Mark and Stephen Farrugia received maximum fines of $22,000 each, and periods of suspension, amongst other sanctions. The Farrugias have appealed the Steward’s decision with respect to penalty only.
On 24 April 2018 the Steward found Paul Wheeler guilty of facilitating the export of 10 greyhounds to China, for which he received a period of disqualification and maximum fine of $22,000. Three other industry participants were also charged in relation to the export of those 10 greyhounds, and had sanctions imposed upon them under a range of rules relating to the export of Mr Wheeler’s greyhounds.
More recently, on 31 May 2018, GRNSW announced a number of penalties against Sam and Patricia Cauchi in relation to the export of 212 greyhounds to Macau. The Cauchis’ each received periods of disqualification and maximum fines of $22,000.
Charges have also recently been laid against four industry participants with respect to the export of a greyhound to Dubai. The Inquiry is ongoing with respect to those charges, and GRNSW will make no further comment at this stage. The Steward is also in the process of considering charges that have been laid against other industry participants. GRNSW anticipates that decisions with respect to those charges will be forthcoming shortly.
A number of individuals have also been charged for providing false information to GRNSW in relation to the Inquiry.
From 1 July 2018, the Greyhound Welfare and Integrity Commission assumed its role as regulator of the greyhound racing industry in NSW, and from that time assumed functions previously exercised by GRNSW, including in relation to the investigation and inquiry into breaches of the Greyhound Racing Rules (such as the unauthorised export of greyhounds). During a transition period, GRNSW will finalise its current inquiries and hand over any new investigations to the Commission.