GA’s National Greyhound Welfare Strategy

As you may be aware the GRA’s of Australasia under the guise of GA, are asking for feedback from participants on a number of proposed welfare rules

This topic is a contribution from some of Australia’s leading breeders and will be regularly updated until the cut-off date for responses on January 15th

If you are intending to respond to GA’s new proposals, you are welcome to use any of the information gathered here and you are also welcome to contact us via the phone number on the side bar to the left

GRA’s new welfare rules

We have headed this topic as ‘GRA’s new welfare rules’ because the Greyhound Racing Authorities of Australia (GRA’s) are the directors of Greyhounds Australasia (GA)

GA is a non-statutory greyhound group who have no legal status under State statutes for the control of greyhound racing and comprises of representatives from jurisdictional controlling bodies in Australian States and Territories and New Zealand

Having a body such as GA is a great convenience for State authorities to avoid criticism by passing the buck for controversial decisions that were supposedly made ostensibly by another group.

This has the added benefit for them of avoiding discussion by, or criticism of, themselves from those they are supposed to communicate with and assist.

With it fees are able to be levied from participants to sustain and promote the cost of growth of this fiefdom, on a blame them not me basis excuse to participants.

To counteract this ‘hidden power aspect’ we believe that it is important to refer to GA as “The GRA’s” as that will remind us just who are really making these decisions and also make them aware that we know who are making these decisions.

It’s also important to contact your state GRA and make your position clear to them on any GA ruling as any rules they propose have to comply with your State statute and can only be introduced with the blessing of your state GRA.

Proposed New Breeding Rules

GA’s background sheet on ‘Breeding and Vaccination requirements’ highlights the importance of ‘reducing the number of greyhounds bred that are unlikely to be suited to racing.”

Most within the industry would fully support that direction and any moves by the GRA’s to directly stamp out irresponsible breeding, either by legislation or education … but that is very different to the proposed blanket legislation that will also impact negatively on responsible breeders.

Surely we all understand that the industry has to also provide greyhounds to race and make up fields and it makes sense to ensure that any legislation does not impact upon the successful racing population as that will then impact upon racing numbers

Australia wide, there are 100’s of litters bred every year that do not make the track and it’s time for the GRA’s to directly focus on that problem and reduce that number.

To our way of thinking they are exactly what you want to address … they ARE the greyhounds that are unlikely to be suited to racing.

Getting rid of those litters serves a two-fold purpose .. it tidies up the disgraceful wastage that is occurring and at the same time does not impact on race numbers because those dogs aren’t getting to the tracks anyway

The GRA’s are planning to establish .. “a National Breeding Review Panel which will decide whether a brood bitch who has had three litters is allowed to be mated with for a fourth or subsequent time”

Our question is .. how does requiring breeders to get a vet certificate and control board approval to breed with a bitch for a FOURTH TIME tackle the issue of irresponsible breeding ?

All the GRA’s have National figures taken over a 10 year span, which show that the 4th (and onwards) litters from a bitch account for only 12% of all unnamed/unraced pups born, while litters 1 and 2 account for 74% of all unnamed/unraced pups and if you add the 3rd litters, that increases to 88%

It’s pretty obvious where and what the problem is … and it certainly isn’t with any bitches 4th and 5th litters .. it’s with the breeders of those litters that never get named and consequently never get to the track.

So why aren’t the GRA’s tackling the real problem .. we all agree that there is a problem and we fully support their attempts to reign in the number of pups that are born every year but never make the track.

This planned legislation is not going to do that and the GRA’s should be directing their energies at the breeders of the 100’s of litters Australia wide that don’t make the tracks.

It’s time to stop focussing on the bitches and focus on the irresponsible breeders because they are a major problem to our industry !! We know the GRA’s have all their details, we know they want to stop this problem, what we don’t know is why they aren’t tackling them directly

Even the NSW Government agrees with this approach by failing to support the NSW Select Committee’s Recommendation 14 ..“That the Minister for Primary Industries appoint an independent inquiry to conduct an investigation into the frequency and number of litters permitted for each breeding female in the greyhound industry”

The Government’s response, released in October 2014, cited that .. “The following table (provided by Greyhound Racing NSW) indicates that of the 14,773 breeding female greyhounds nationally between 2000 and 2010 – approximately 45% had only one litter, 27% had two litters, 14% had three litters, 7.5% had four litters and only 6% had five or more litters.”

Which by the way, re-inforces GA’s comments that …Industry statistics show most brood bitches have one to three litters in their lifetime. Only 13.5% of all bitches have a fourth litter and less than 6% have five or more litters”

The NSW Government’s response also stated … “These figures show that the number and frequency of litters per breeding female is not as significant an issue as is the breeding of poor quality racing animals and the relatively short racing career of a greyhound” … and … “The Government notes that a key element of the National Greyhound Welfare Strategy is the introduction of national initiatives to capture data on breeding and to reduce breeding of unsuitable greyhounds”

So where’s the logic ? … GA’s own statistics say they will achieve very little .. Public opinion is against them and they can’t say they are under pressure from Government as only 3 months ago the NSW government openly stated that they also don’t support this approach … ???