RSPCA Policy C06 Greyhound Racing

6.1RSPCA Australia considers that there are significant and entrenched animal welfare problems inherent in the greyhound racing industry. These include problems with over-supply, injuries, physical overexertion, inadequate housing, lack of socialisation and environmental enrichment, training, illegal live baiting, administration of banned or unregistered substances, export and the fate of unwanted greyhounds (high wastage and high euthanasia rates).
6.2Until all of these problems are recognised and effectively resolved, RSPCA Australia does not support greyhound racing.

Where greyhound racing continues to be conducted, RSPCA Australia advocates the following:

  • The comprehensive regulation of greyhound racing by an independent body with a formal and complete separation of the integrity and regulatory functions from the commercial functions.
  • The adoption of compulsory and enforced animal welfare standards for greyhounds at all life stages to eliminate practices that cause injury, pain, suffering or distress and ensure all greyhounds have a good quality of life.
  • The adoption of formal processes to address over-supply and wastage rates. There should be an expectation and formal processes in place within the industry that greyhounds will be rehomed as a companion animal on retirement and provisions made to ensure their welfare.
  • The mandatory collection and publication of comprehensive lifecycle (birth to death records) and injury statistics and the development of a national identification and traceability system for all greyhounds to ensure each greyhound born is accounted for.

See also RSPCA Policy F4 Export of live animals for purposes other than slaughter


Hurdle races

RSPCA Australia is opposed to hurdle races for greyhounds because of the high risk of injury associated with this activity.

6.5Live Baiting
6.5.1RSPCA Australia is opposed to the use of live animals or animal carcasses or any part of an animal as a bait or lure for the purpose of training, baiting and blooding of greyhounds or other racing dogs. Only non-animal devices and products should be used for training purposes.
6.5.2RSPCA Australia supports legislation that effectively prevents the use of live animals or any part of an animal as bait or a lure. Legislation to prevent live baiting or the use of animal material must be rigorously enforced.

Devices and Equipment

Any device or equipment used to control or modify behaviour or performance in greyhound racing or associated training must be humane and must not cause injury, pain, suffering or distress to the animal.

See also RSPCA policy A7.4 and A7.5

6.7Blood collection
6.7.1Ex-racing greyhounds destined for euthanasia are regularly used as a source of blood for veterinary transfusions and other purposes. This practice has arisen due to the demand for blood and high numbers of unwanted greyhounds.
6.7.2Blood collection must not be regarded as a justification for the euthanasia of greyhounds. To reduce euthanasia rates of greyhounds, the underlying causes of greyhound wastage must be addressed.
6.7.3RSPCA Australia supports the expansion of alternative blood collection (that does not involve euthanasia) such as the collection of blood from suitable, healthy owned ‘donor’ dogs under close supervision and at appropriate intervals to ensure the welfare of the dogs.

(adopted 30/3/2016)

Also Read

Updated on December 9, 2020

RSPCA policies reflect the best available evidence to direct and guide RSPCA and others, to promote and achieve good animal welfare outcomes.

Reference to ‘the RSPCA’ or ‘RSPCA’ in this document means RSPCA Australia and each of the RSPCA Australia member Societies.

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