2651. Hon Alison Xamon to the minister representing the Minister for Racing and Gaming:
(1) I refer to the requirement to obtain a breeding license for greyhounds with Racing and Wagering WA before any breeding activities take place, and I ask:
(a) after a license is obtained are breeders required to undertake continuing education as a condition of their license; and
(b) if no to (1)(a):
(i) why not; and
(ii) what mechanisms are in place to monitor compliance with the conditions of the license?
(2) I refer to the Code of Practice for the keeping of Australian Greyhounds in Western Australia, and I ask:
(a) is there an inspection regime to monitor if the Code of Practice is being adhered to;
(b) if yes to (2)(a):
(i) how frequently are these inspections carried out;
(ii) are inspections unannounced; and
(iii) are inspections and/or inquiries undertaken proactively or only as a result of a report; and
(c) if no to (2)(a), why not?
(3) I refer to the Government’s commitment to injury monitoring and continual research for racing greyhounds, and I ask:
(a) have any changes to racing practices been made as a result of additional monitoring and research;
(b) if yes to (3)(a):
(i) what modifications have been made; and
(ii) has there been a decrease in death and injury rates; and
(c) if no to (3)(a), why not?
(4) I refer to monitoring of compliance of welfare regulations for owners of racing greyhounds, and I ask:
(a) how many inspections were undertaken of owners’ premises during 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 to date;
(b) were any breaches uncovered as a result of these inspections; and
(c) if yes to (4)(b), for each of the years 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 to date, please list the number of breaches and what the breaches were issued for?
(5) I refer to the requirement to track greyhounds throughout their life, and I ask:
(a) how are greyhounds that are adopted as a result of trainer direct adoptions monitored after their adoption;
(b) is this information subject to further verification and/or audit;
(c) if yes to (5)(b), how; and
(d) if no to (5)(b), why not?
(6) I refer to the socialisation requirements outlined in the Code of Practice for the keeping of Australian Greyhounds in Western Australia, and I ask:
(a) what mechanisms are in place to monitor compliance with this standard; and
(b) what is the penalty for breaching the socialisation requirements in the code?
Hon Alannah MacTiernan replied:
(1) (a) No. There is no direct requirement, however our on track veterinarians and Industry Veterinarian Dr Judith Medd are accessible for any education, advice or support regarding the breeding of greyhounds.
(b) (i) Prior to licensing, the breeders are to undertake an extensive ‘Breeders Competency Package.’ The vast majority of breeders are greyhound trainers that have experience in the caring and breeding of greyhounds. Upon completing the relevant modules to obtain such licence, fundamental competency standards are established and do not alter. Thereafter breeders are monitored by way of performance metrics with respect to success rates to ensure they continue to meet acceptable standards.
(ii) The stewards continue to conduct unannounced kennel inspections including breeder’s properties. The stewards attend the properties between 12–16 weeks to complete ear tattooing and check on the welfare of the greyhounds and their accommodation. The vast majority of breeders use our own on track veterinarians at the 6 week, 12 week and 12 month vaccinations. These vets report any concern to the stewards for immediate action. In addition, breeders breeding statistics are regularly monitored by stewards to ensure quality breeding is occurring. From this review, certain breeders have been directed to appear before stewards due to their breeding statistics not meeting the required standards to show cause as to whether they should retain their licence. Some breeders have their licenses cancelled forthwith due to inactivity to ensure only successful and active breeders remain eligible to breed greyhound.
(2) (a) Yes.
(b) (i) Stewards conduct inspections on a weekly basis as part of operational duties. Active trainers are inspected at least once a year with a large number inspected several times a year. Stewards attend all breeding properties at approximately 12 weeks post whelping for puppy identification and ear tattooing.
(ii) Attendance for puppy identification and ear-tattooing is arranged by appointment. All other kennel inspections are unannounced.
(iii) Inspections and inquiries are undertaken both as part of proactive regulation and response to any reports received.
(3) (a) Yes.
(b) (i) Introduction of hoop arm for races aimed at easing race congestion.
Advancement of track surface monitoring to obtain sufficient data to conduct statistical co-relations with injury data to determine any correlations and “ideal” racing surfaces.
Currently engaged in contracting David Eager from UTI to review WA race tracks as has been conducted in other States.
(ii) As published in RWWA Annual Report (table below) following is the relevant data showing changes to all injury rates. The percentage of starters affected by either a major or catastrophic injury is extremely low at 0.5% from a total of 736 starters.
In 2018/19 we have seen a decrease in catastrophic injuries from a rate in 2017/18 of 1.7 per 1000 starts to 2018/19 rate of 1.2 per 1000 starts.
This equates to a 30% reduction in the number of greyhounds that sustained a catastrophic injury compared to the previous year.
The reasons behind this decrease are multifactorial but would include; the trainer injury recovery rebate scheme and advancements in track surface monitoring, preparation and maintenance.
As the new Greyhound Injury Full Rebate Scheme commenced in August 2019 we expect that this scheme plus the expanded rebate for the trainer rebate scheme will result in a further significant reduction in the number of greyhounds euthanased on track for serious injuries by the time of next annual report publication in 2019/20.
Number of race injury incidents, injury rates and severity reported at WA race meetings by on track veterinarians between 1 August 2018 and 31 July 2019. (Figures for 2017/18 in blue)
Total numbers of injury incidents
Injury rate (injury incidents/ 1000 starts)
Injury rate as % of total starters
Minor – I
Minor – II
Greater than 21 days
Deceased or euthanased immediately
(4) (a) Kennel inspections completed; year 2015 – inspections 233, 2016 – 243, 2017 – 215, 2018 – 188, as of (4/11/2019) 2019 – 174.
(c) 19/1/15 – No prescription on medication. $300
12/5/15 – Failed to seek vets attention. $500
29/5/15 – Lure not free of animal tissue. $1500
29/5/15 – Refused to answer steward’s questions. 18 month disqualification.
23/7/15 – Unclean kennels. $750
28/7/16 – Offensive language towards an official. 5 months disqualification.
4/8/15 – Failed to provide proper accommodation. $1000.
2/8/16 – No prescription on medication. $150
5/9/16 – Misleading evidence. $1500. Improper act $1000. No prescription $300.
5/10/16 – Possession of medications with no prescription. $1000.
5/10/16 – Unclean kennels. $500.
25/10/16 – Possession of a permanently banned substance. $1500.
5/12/16 – No prescription on medication. $150.
28/3/17 – Possession of prohibited substance. $300.
19/7/17 – Unclean kennels. $500
2/10/17 – Possession of an expired permanently banned substance. $500 x 2.
18/9/18 – Possession of a substance. $400
19/10/18 – Possession of an unregistered product. $150
20/3/19 – Unclean kennels. $300
19/9/19 – Possession of an unregistered product. $300
(5) (a) Stewards contact the new owners approximately a month after the retirement to confirm the presence of the retired greyhound and offer educational material in the care of greyhounds.
(c) If they are retired to a registered person. The stewards will randomly enquire regarding the status of a retired greyhound under a registered person care. No, if they are retired to an unregistered person.
(d) The person is not bound by the Rules of Greyhound Racing and the stewards have no jurisdiction.
(6) (a) Inspections and inquiries are undertaken both as part of proactive regulation and response to any reports received as outlined in response to question 2. At these times stewards will observe and monitor the compliance with the Code of Practise, including the socialisation requirements.
(b) No prescribed penalty. Penalties determined upon inquiry taking into account all relevant factors. As the socialisation heading is broad, the stewards, depending on the individual circumstances can impose penalties of fines up to $100 000.00, suspensions, disqualifications of cancel of licences or a combination of those depending on severity of the matter.