The IGB owns and manages nine out of the 17 licensed greyhound stadia located in the Republic
of Ireland, with the remaining operating under private ownership. Two further privately owned
stadia also exist in Northern Ireland.
The Irish Coursing Club (ICC) was established in 1916 and chartered with responsibility for
greyhounds under the Greyhound Industry Act 1958. The ICC is a recognised controlling
authority over matters relating to the breeding of racing greyhounds and greyhound coursing
(including registration and identification), and has operative functions relating to greyhound racing
and training for reward in accordance with local laws.
The primary objectives of the ICC is the promotion of responsible greyhound breeding (including
maintaining the Irish Greyhound Stud Book), encouragement and regulation of greyhound
coursing (including provision for ICC affiliation of local coursing clubs), contribution to the
regulation of greyhound racing and training for reward, and the provision of input into the
development of Ireland‘s greyhound industry (including providing for ICC affiliation to persons
owning or exercising control over greyhound race tracks).
Notably, coursing operates within a highly regulated environment in Ireland under a licence
administered by the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. The ICC‘s comprehensive
industry rules are directly applied in parallel to government regulation.
Owners, trainers and breeders in Ireland are governed by the Welfare of Greyhounds Act 2011,
which sets out clear provisions relating to the welfare of greyhounds. The IGB and ICC, together
with local authorities, are responsible for enforcement of this Act. Further, the IGB is also obliged
to publish a Code of Practice as part of the Act‘s compliance measures.
Despite the results of Ireland‘s self-assessment questionnaire indicating a vigorously regulated
industry that operates similarly to Australia, as well as a high standard of compliance to ensure
the welfare of greyhounds, GA is unable to fully endorse the host country due, primarily, to a lack
of detail particularly around the practical application of their Greyhound Code of Practice‘s
minimum dimensions for greyhound kennel sizes.
The Department of Agriculture Biosecurity Unit‘s export data indicates that for the calendar years
2010 and 2011, no Australian greyhounds were exported to Ireland and therefore, full compliance
with the Australian Export Standards is not a priority concern. However, GA will continue to work
with IGB to resolve areas of potential non-compliance and is hopeful that full compliance with the
Australian Export Standards will be achieved in the short to medium term.
3. United States
The National Greyhound Association (NGA) is the racing greyhound registry body for track
operators and individual racing jurisdictions on the North American continent. A not-for-profit
association, the NGA‘s aim is to uphold the sport‘s credible reputation and promote the wellbeing
of greyhounds. In assisting to meet this purpose, the NGA together with the Greyhound Track
Operators Association (AGTOA) established the American Greyhound Council (AGC) to develop,
fund and oversee programs to ensure the welfare of racing greyhounds on the farm, at the track
and upon retirement.
While close to fully compliant with GA‘s export standards, it is clear from the self-assessment
questionnaire results that the industry in the US operates slightly differently to Australia. Most
significantly, any greyhound that is kenneled at a track is regulated by state legislation and the
The National Greyhound Association, http://ngagreyhounds.com/page/welfare
NGA is only responsible for setting and enforcing guidelines for greyhound farms. As an industry
driven for commercial profit, a larger percentage of kennels are aligned to racing tracks. It is
worth noting however, that greyhound farms in all US states fall under the regulation of animal
welfare laws and requirements. A few states additionally need to adhere to guidelines set by the
state racing commission or the state department of agriculture.
While highly regulated, GA will follow up this jurisdiction on several compliance issues including
The Department of Agriculture Biosecurity Unit‘s export data indicates that two greyhounds were
exported to the region in 2010 and seven in 2011, while GA‘s Greyhound Passport Scheme did
not record that any greyhounds were exported to the region during either year.
4. Czech Republic
Although only a small industry which operates with approximately 50-100 competing greyhounds,
the Czech Greyhound Racing Federation (CGRF) is the principal regulatory body for racing
greyhounds in the Czech Republic.
An extremely professional and fully compliant jurisdiction, the welfare of racing greyhounds is of
upmost importance to the CGRF, which is reflected in an industry guided by mandated rules that
are largely based on Australia‘s code of conduct.
A 25 year licence was granted to Sports and Entertainment Services Ltd (SES) to operate
greyhound racing in Vietnam in 1999, which included the rights to conduct totalisator betting.
SES originally imported greyhounds from Australia but as it now has its own breeding program,
has not imported Australian greyhounds since 2009.
Vietnam did not complete GA‘s self-assessment questionnaire and is therefore, a non-compliant
jurisdiction. Vietnam indicated that it has no future need to import greyhounds from Australia.
The Macau Canidrome is managed by an independent board of directors who are regulated by
the Macau Government‘s Gaming Inspections and Coordination Bureau based on site at the
Macau is currently not fully compliant with GA‘s export standards based on the results of its self-
assessment questionnaire. Appropriate regulatory rules, policies and procedures must be put in
place to support the ongoing welfare of all greyhounds in Macau during and post-racing career.
Particular areas of concern to GA include:
Track maintenance processes and procedures
Provision and maintenance of a safe racing environment to minimise the risk of injury
Injury rates and seriousness to minimise the need for euthanasia
Policies and initiatives to extend the racing life of a greyhound
A comprehensive in depth analysis into Macau can be found in Part D - Macau Site Visit.
7. New Zealand
The New Zealand Greyhound Racing Association (NZGRA) is one of GA‘s nine independent
industry control bodies and is hence, subject to GA‘s governing code of conduct.
The results of NZ‘s self-assessment questionnaire indicate that it is close to fully compliant and
the following welfare issues are currently being considered by the NZGRA‘s racing committee:
Policies and initiatives to extend the racing life of a greyhound
Australian exporters have applied for greyhound passports during the past six months for the
following four unregulated countries:
2. United Arab Emirates
4. South Africa
Until the review is finalised and recommendations are endorsed by the GA Board, it has been
agreed that a process of assessment to best manage the export of greyhounds to these countries
will occur on a case-by-case basis. Specifically, when a greyhound passport application for an
unregulated country is received, GA issues the Australian exporter with a standard letter outlining
further required information to assist with determining approval or not. Provision of a passport is then
subject to the comfort derived from the exporter‘s response.
Of the four countries listed above, only one passport has been issued in response to a request to
export a greyhound to Japan during this period. In stating this, it must be noted that anecdotally the
information provided by the exporters requesting passports for the other three countries – which
included pictures – exhibited good welfare standards. Without direct connection to a regulatory body
or government department however, it makes validation by GA for compliance purposes difficult.
3. Industry Compliance Requirements
A number of important export host countries remain non-compliant. While GA is likely to withhold
passports for greyhounds destined for these countries, it acknowledges that this alone will not
ensure that greyhound exports are suspended to these jurisdictions. While GA continues to work
with the Federal Government to strengthen compliance with the Greyhound Passport Scheme, it will
also work with non-compliant countries on achieving acceptable welfare standards.
Part of the problem with the compliance rates in a number of jurisdictions stems from the inadequate
regulatory status of racing in those countries. Generally, countries which possess a centrally
regulated industry have a higher compliance rate than those that do not. GA has more confidence
that agreed welfare standards will be effectively enforced in countries where greyhound racing is
regulated. In countries where this framework does not exist, the onus will be firmly on the racing
institutions within the country to prove to GA that compliance standards are being met. Such
compliance will need to be rigorously assessed on a case-by-case basis and may involve
reassessment for each passport application.
Given the lack of a centrally organised industry in the presently unregulated jurisdictions of China,
United Arab Emirates, South Africa and Japan, GA has found reviewing their compliance levels
against required export standards challenging. Although anecdotal evidence shows that some of the
major racing facilities in these unregulated countries are well maintained and still operate in the
absence of an effective program of compliance, passports are not likely to be issued by GA for
Australian greyhounds targeted for export to these jurisdictions.
The regulated region with the lowest adherence to compliance is Macau which has been assessed
by GA as not fully compliant against its export welfare standards. GA suspended the receiving and
processing of passport applications to Macau in March 2013 after an assessment of Macau's
responses to GA's self assessment questionnaire. GA intends to work with Macau administrators
on a program aimed at reaching full compliance.
Macau visit to Australia
The Macau Canidrome‘s General Manager and Chief Veterinarian visited Australia in July 2012 to
share information with GA‘s CEO and GRV‘s Animal Welfare Manager regarding the
establishment of a Greyhound Adoption Program (GAP) for retired racing greyhounds. Macau
delegates wanted to demonstrate to GA what processes and financial commitment the
Canidrome and Macau Government had in place to progress such a program.
GA took the opportunity to discuss Macau‘s response to GA's self-assessment questionnaire in
detail. The Canidrome representatives indicated they were committed to enhancing its animal
welfare standards with both parties agreeing to a program of rectification measures with the aim
of bringing the Canidrome up to an acceptable level of compliance.
Macau delegates also took part in a tour of Victoria‘s GAP facility in Seymour where they spent
several hours discussing adoption policy and practices with the State Program Coordinator -
knowledge that would assist in the development of an external adoption program in Macau.
Australia visit to Macau
Following the Macau Canidrome personnel visit to Australia, a delegation of industry experts from
Australia visited the Canidrome during October 2013. The delegation included GA‘s CEO and the
Animal Welfare Manager of GRV.
The purpose of the visit was to validate the welfare standards enforced at the Canidrome against
Australia‘s documented standards for countries seeking to import Australian greyhounds, as well
as to authenticate Macau‘s responses to GA‘s export self-assessment questionnaire.
GA believes that a system of allowing Macau to reach near full compliance before allowing
passports to be issued is the most appropriate way forward. This would involve Macau
demonstrating close to full compliance and implementing a credible program of activities to reach
full compliance before passports would be issued. Such compliance will also need to be
independently verified at that jurisdiction's cost.
3.2 New Zealand, Ireland, United States
For countries which are assessed as being close to fully compliant, GA will continue to issue
passports to owners seeking to export greyhounds to these host countries. GA does however,
reserve the right to withdraw passports should the meeting of full compliance appear problematic.
For these jurisdictions, GA does not believe it is appropriate or necessary to perform site visits at this
time in order to verify compliance but will continue to monitor their compliance by way of an annual
Vietnam remains non-compliant as it has refused to engage in the self-assessment questionnaire
process. GA will not be investing resources in assisting Vietnam to reach a state of compliance, as it
has indicated it will not be sourcing any greyhounds from Australia. Passports will therefore, not be
issued for greyhounds destined for Vietnam.
Documents you may be interested
Documents you may be interested