Regulatory News

Greyhound Racing New South Wales (GRNSW) today announced penalties for participants Sam and Patricia Cauchi as part of its ongoing Inquiry primarily into the unauthorised export of greyhounds to China and Macau.

Sam and Patricia Cauchi have each been disqualified for three and a half years and fined $22,000 for exporting 212 greyhounds to Macau in breach of Rule 124(1) of the GRNSW Greyhound Racing Rules.

Sam and Patricia Cauchi were initially charged with exporting 49 greyhounds to Macau.  During the course of the Inquiry, following the receipt of additional information from the Department of Agriculture, the Cauchis made admissions that they had, in fact, exported a total of 212 greyhounds to Macau.  The Cauchis also faced and pled guilty to one charge of misconduct under Rule 86(o).

Sam and Patricia Cauchi each face a fine of $22,000 and have been disqualified for three and a half years for exporting the greyhounds to Macau without a greyhound passport or pedigree issued by Greyhounds Australasia (GA). For the misconduct offence, the Steward also disqualified Sam and Patricia Cauchi for three and a half years, a penalty to be served wholly concurrent with the periods of disqualification imposed with respect to the export charges.

The Steward determined that the Cauchis were aware of the rule requiring passports for greyhound exports because they had previously applied to GA for passports to export greyhounds to Macau.  The last shipment of greyhounds from the Cauchis to Macau with passports took place on 6 March 2013.  After that date, the Cauchis continued to export greyhounds to Macau without passports.  The greyhounds subject of these charges were exported without passports in the period from 5 June 2013 to 10 December 2015.  The Steward determined that the Cauchis committed deliberate and intentional breaches of Rule 124, which was taken into account on the question of penalty.

While the Steward considered the appropriate penalty for the offence to be disqualification for five years, that period was reduced to three and a half years due to the Cauchis' excellent records and lack of antecedents over a long period of participation in the industry, their good character and their cooperation with the Inquiry, including their guilty pleas and their admissions to the unauthorised export of a total of 212 greyhounds to Macau.  The Steward also considered the Cauchis' knowledge of passport requirements, the seriousness and scale of the offending, and the general deterrence effect of the penalty. 

Although the export of greyhounds without a passport may be contrary to Rule 124, there is no Federal government law prohibiting it.  The lack of a greyhound passport does not

preclude a greyhound from being exported from Australia and the Federal regulatory scheme does not take account of the animal welfare standards of the destination country.  The Cauchis complied with all Department of Agriculture requirements and quarantine procedures in relation to the greyhound exports which were the subject of this decision.

GRNSW takes the welfare of greyhounds very seriously and is deeply committed to preventing the unauthorised export of Australian greyhounds to destinations where welfare practices do not meet industry welfare standards and are inconsistent with community expectations.

The Steward's decisions on penalty reflect the seriousness and extent of the offences under the Rules.  The financial penalty combined with the period of disqualification reflects the fact that greyhound racing in NSW will not tolerate offences which jeopardise the welfare of greyhounds and tarnish the image and reputation of the sport in the eyes of the public.  In particular, the message is clear that GRNSW will not tolerate the unauthorised export of greyhounds to countries that do not have adequate animal welfare standards.

A copy of the GRNSW decision about the penalty imposed can be found here.  Sam and Patricia Cauchi have been notified of their rights of appeal.The Inquiry is ongoing.

GRNSW encourages anyone who may have information about the unauthorised export of greyhounds to contact the Greyhound Welfare and Integrity Hotline on 1800 600 174 or to ensure the matter can be fully investigated.