There is significant information missing from recent letters to the editor published in this week’s newspaper regarding the Tasmanian greyhound racing industry.
Under new welfare rules introduced on 1 March 2020, greyhound owners must make every effort to find their greyhound a suitable long-term home.
Owners must keep evidence of their endeavours and greyhounds can no longer be euthanised without written permission from the Office of Racing Integrity (ORI).
Exemptions to this rehoming process are only on the basis of medical, legal or behavioural grounds.
Critically, a greyhound can now only be euthanised for behavioural reasons after it has undergone an assessment by an ORI-approved person and only after ORI has signed off on the unsuitability report.
Further, a greyhound may be euthanised on medical grounds if a registered veterinarian certifies that the greyhound is suffering from an incurable condition or injury that causes significant pain or discomfort.
Finally, a greyhound may be euthanised to comply with a court order.
These are important changes that will improve the welfare of greyhounds in the state.
Tasracing funds the Greyhound Adoption Program (GAP) that aims to rehome 150 greyhounds a year.
In 2019/20, GAP rehomed 137 greyhounds (89 in 2018/19).
The recently acquired GAP facility at Mangalore by Tasracing can house 27 greyhounds at a time. As at 20 July 2020, there were 22 dogs in the program – 20 greyhounds at the kennels and two dogs in foster homes.
The flow of greyhounds through the program is highly dependent on the individual greyhound and also the previous work of owners/trainers preparing their greyhound for pet life.
The GAP process for transitioning a greyhound from a racing environment into pet life is rigorous. All greyhounds undertake multiple behavioural assessments and undergo individualised socialisation programs.
All greyhounds enter their new homes desexed (including a health check by a veterinarian), with up-to-date vaccinations, worming and flea treatment, teeth polished, nails trimmed and microchip transferred to the new owner.
Animal Welfare Manager