NSW Greyhound Code of Practice

Code of Practice Support

The NSW Greyhound Code of Practice sets out standards on how industry participants should behave. The Code is enforced by the Greyhound Welfare and Integrity Commission. Good greyhound welfare is critical to a sustainable and vibrant industry. Compliance to the Code demonstrates your commitment to greyhound welfare and our long-standing sport. Here we help explain principles of animal welfare and why the standards in the Code promote positive greyhound welfare.

The Code is shaped by the Five Domains  model of animal welfare. This approach considers how an animal can cope in its environment and takes into account that mental wellbeing also affects overall welfare. Historically, many animal laws and regulations were based on the Five Freedoms . However, it’s clear that it is not enough to ensure that an animal is free from negative states such as pain, discomfort, hunger, thirst and fear. Beyond these basic needs, we know a confident and healthy greyhound also needs be able to explore and play, be curious and comfortable in its surroundings and have positive interactions with people and other dogs. In short, greyhounds need to be “Fit and feeling good.”

What is good welfare?

The Five Domains Model of Animal Welfare

The NSW Greyhound Code of Practice was developed with reference to the five domains of animal welfare, which provide a recognised framework for assessing an animal’s wellbeing. We can understand animal welfare by using the Five Domains Model. This is a comprehensive and systematic way of identifying both positive and negative welfare impacts on an animal. Factors considered in the four domains – nutrition, environment, health and behaviour cause affective (feeling) states which are assessed in the fifth domain – mental state. The aim is to achieve a net balance that favours positive experiences to enable all greyhounds the best possible life.

A simple example:

If the temperature (domain 2 - environment) is over 30 degrees and a greyhound has no access to shade or a cooler spot to rest, he may suffer heat stress (domain 3 – health) and distress (domain 5 - mental state). This is a negative welfare state. If a greyhound is provided shelter, shade and a cool water, he is able to cool down and is comfortable (domain 5 - mental state).

That is why Standard 5.11 in the Code stipulates: While in outdoor yards and other enclosures, greyhounds must have access to shelter from rain, sun and extreme temperatures.

If you need assistance with the NSW Greyhound Code of Practice you can call GRNSW Welfare and Education toll-free on 1800 795 585 or email the team on education@grnsw.com.au.

Based on the work of David J. Mellor and Ngaio J. Beausoleil (2015)

Domain Factors set out in Code