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RSPCA Australia opposes the export of Australian racing greyhounds because it puts racing greyhounds at significant risk of poor animal welfare outcomes. These risks include stress and injuries associated with long-distance transport, lack of animal welfare legal protection in importing countries, and the potential to enter the dog meat trade. The lack of a formal tracking system for dogs exported to other countries means that the fate of Australian greyhounds is currently unknown. There are also serious concerns about the apparent lack of formal rehoming/adoption programs in destination countries.
In 2014 and 2015, a total of 1278 racing greyhounds were exported to several destinations including 460 greyhounds to Macau, 98 greyhounds to China and 106 greyhounds to Hong Kong.
In Macau approximately 700 greyhounds are housed on site at the Canidrome racetrack. All the greyhounds at the Canidrome are Australian. The dogs live on site in single-dog kennels. Single-dog housing is unacceptable as it prevents social contact. According to a Greyhounds Australasia (GA) report, two thirds of the kennels would fail to meet the minimum size for a racing kennel in Australia. There are no runs or outdoor yards for exercise. Kennels are barren, without environmental enrichment.
Greyhounds at the Canidrome generally race once a week: insufficient daily exercise is an identified welfare issue. About 20-30% of dogs are injured at any one time and the GA report describes poor track conditions that contribute to high injury rates. About 30 dogs are euthanased each month at the track. Alarmingly, there is no effective adoption program post-racing.
GA assessed Macau as not compliant with GA’s own export standards. In 2014, Greyhounds Australasia introduced voluntary suspensions of greyhound passports to certain destinations including Macau, due to animal welfare concerns.
Exports to other countries
There is no evidence that there are any jurisdictions in the world where the animal welfare problems that exist in greyhound racing in Australia have been effectively addressed and removed. Therefore exporting Australian racing greyhounds to any destination can put greyhounds at risk.
RSPCA Australia does not support the export of greyhounds from Australia except where the greyhound is accompanying their owner as a recognised pet (a companion animal) and where the greyhound will not be used for greyhound racing purposes (for racing or breeding). This should be stipulated in Australian Government export regulations.
If you want to help end greyhound exports please visit: http://rspca.org.au/greyhound-exports