Information for Veterinarians

What are the euthanasia requirements for greyhound owners under the Greyhound Racing Prohibition Act 2016?

The owner of a registered greyhound must not destroy a greyhound or cause it to be destroyed except with the written consent of GRNSW. To request consent from GRNSW, owners must complete the Consent Form and send it to GRNSW at retirement@grnsw.com.au or post it to PO Box 170, Concord West NSW 2138.

Please note that GRNSW consent is not required if the greyhound is destroyed by a veterinary practitioner in an emergency in order to relieve it of suffering or distress due to injury or illness.

Do owners have to seek consent from GRNSW in respect of all greyhounds destroyed?

The requirements only apply to greyhounds registered under the GRNSW Greyhound Racing Rules or a greyhound born to a registered greyhound.

How will a veterinary practitioner know if an owner has GRNSW consent to have a greyhound euthanased?

If consent is given, GRNSW will provide the owner with a letter of consent. An owner must not euthanase a greyhound prior to receiving this written consent from GRNSW. Veterinary practitioners are encouraged to request that an owner show evidence of this letter before proceeding to euthanase a greyhound.

What should I do if an owner requests euthanasia for their greyhound but does not have GRNSW consent?

GRNSW encourages veterinary practitioners to remind industry participants that they must comply with their obligations.

Whether you ultimately undertake the euthanasia remains a matter for you as a veterinary practitioner and you are expected to exercise your professional judgement.

You should also be aware that GRNSW consent is not required if the greyhound is destroyed by a veterinary practitioner in an emergency in order to relieve it of suffering or distress due to injury or illness.

If a greyhound is seriously injured or ill, does an owner require GRNSW consent for euthanasia?

No. GRNSW consent is not required if the greyhound is destroyed by a veterinary practitioner in an emergency in order to relieve it of suffering or distress due to injury or illness. Veterinarians should uphold their professional obligation to relieve suffering or distress due to injury or illness as required.

What are the circumstances which GRNSW considers may be appropriate for euthanasia?

GRNSW expects that owners of registered greyhounds explore all possible appropriate options for their retiring greyhounds prior to considering euthanasia.

Greyhounds capable of living as happy, safe pets should be given the opportunity to do so. However, there are circumstances where humane destruction of a greyhound may be necessary to prevent continued and future suffering. Risks to greyhound welfare include:
  • undiagnosed, unmanaged or persistent medical or behavioural disorders which cause pain or distress;
  • frustration and poor quality of life due to long term kennelling because of a lack of suitable rehoming options;
  • repeated rehoming due to adoption failure;
  • failure to establish an owner-pet bond as a result of difficult or unsafe behaviours such as profound anxiety, human directed aggression and predatory aggression.
The destruction of a greyhound must be undertaken humanely and by a veterinarian. Veterinarians should continue to exercise their professional judgement to act in the best interests of the animals in their care.

What should I do if I have any welfare or integrity concerns?

It remains critical that participants and industry stakeholders report integrity issues for GRNSW, as a regulator, to investigate. If you would like to submit information directly to GRNSW about suspected wrongdoing around welfare or integrity matters or the conduct of a person involved in greyhound racing, you can do that by submitting it in writing via the form available www.grnsw.com.au/regulatory/concerns/grnsw-1 . Upon completion, submit the form to intelligence@grnsw.com.au

In the alternative, please submit contact the Welfare & Integrity Hotline on 1800 680 174 or by using the online submission form available at www.greyhoundwelfare.com.au.