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Should pet greyhounds have to wear muzzles?

Article ID: 623
Last updated: 29 Nov, 2016
Revision: 13
Views: 12365

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.

This website provides general information which must not be relied upon or regarded as a substitute for specific professional advice, including veterinary advice. We make no warranties that the website is accurate or suitable for a person's unique circumstances and provide the website on the basis that all persons accessing the website responsibly assess the relevance and accuracy of its content.
Attached files
file Compulsory muzzling of pet greyhounds - RSPCA Information Paper Aug 2015.pdf (246 kb)
file Greyhound adoption - RSPCA Information Booklet March 2017.pdf (711 kb)

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

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