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Should pet greyhounds have to wear muzzles?

Article ID: 623
Last updated: 29 Nov, 2016
Revision: 13
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In all States/Territories of Australia, except the Northern Territory and some local council areas in Queensland, there is a compulsory requirement for pet greyhounds to wear a muzzle in public.

Greyhound muzzling laws are based on ‘breed’ not on individual dog behaviour and are an example of breed-specific legislation (BSL). There is no evidence to show that greyhounds as a breed pose any greater risk to the public compared to other dog breeds or mix of breeds. The RSPCA does not support breed specific legislation. Compulsory greyhound muzzling is contrary to RSPCA policy which states that the use of muzzles should be based on the behaviour of each individual dog. 

Compulsory muzzling contributes to negative public perceptions about greyhounds and their suitability as pets. Most people are not aware that compulsory muzzling requirements are in place and therefore mistakenly conclude that greyhounds are muzzled due to an aggressive and dangerous temperament. In reality, greyhounds generally have friendly and gentle dispositions and make fantastic pets.

Unfortunately the misconception that greyhounds need to be muzzled has major ramifications for greyhound rehoming, preventing many greyhounds that are discarded by the racing industry from finding a new home. Removing muzzling laws would significantly help improve the image of greyhounds and thus help increase rehoming rates. 

Compulsory muzzling of pet greyhounds in public occurs only in Australia and Northern Ireland. RSPCA Australia has not identified any evidence of increased safety risks or incidents/issues arising from the absence of compulsory muzzling of pet greyhounds in public places in other countries.

The RSPCA supports the complete removal of compulsory muzzling requirements for pet greyhounds while in a public place.

Please see the Information paper (attached below) and linked articles for more information.

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Attached files
file Compulsory muzzling of pet greyhounds - RSPCA Information Paper Aug 2015.pdf (246 kb) Download
file Greyhound adoption - RSPCA Information Booklet March 2017.pdf (711 kb) Download

Also read
folder RSPCA Policy A07 Companion animal management
folder RSPCA Policy A08 Dog management
folder What are the animal welfare issues associated with greyhound racing in Australia?
folder Why does the RSPCA oppose the export of racing greyhounds?
folder What is the RSPCA's view on greyhound racing?
folder Why is it important to understand my greyhound's background?
folder What do I need to consider before adopting a greyhound?
folder What is prey drive and why do I need to understand this?
folder Can greyhounds live in harmony with other pets?
folder How can I help my greyhound settle into their new home?
folder Why do greyhounds need help with toilet training?
folder How do I best communicate with my greyhound?
folder What should I feed my greyhound?
folder What is the best training for my greyhound?
folder How can I help with my greyhound's behaviour?

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