Racing greyhounds across the Central West will be electronically tracked for their entire lives as part of a new, world-leading initiative to ensure dogs aren't slaughtered and dumped.
A whole-of-life tracking system was introduced as part of the NSW Government's welfare reforms to the state's greyhound racing industry, the announcement coming from Bathurst's Kennerson Park on Thursday.
The $3.6 million technological investment will allow the Greyhound Welfare and Integrity Commission to track and protect dogs throughout their careers and, importantly, beyond.
[This] will make a huge difference in protecting the welfare of racing greyhounds ... and put an end to speculation that animals have disappeared.Minister for Better Regulation and Innovation Kevin Anderson
The system, based on scanning a dog's microchip annually, will also allow stewards to electronically register dogs on race days.
"This is a game-changer for greyhound welfare in NSW," Minister for Better Regulation and Innovation Kevin Anderson said.
"[This] will make a huge difference in protecting the welfare of racing greyhounds across the state and put an end to speculation that animals have disappeared."
A whole-of-life location register was one of the key recommendations accepted by the government when the Greyhound Industry Reform Panel handed down its report into the industry in 2017.
In December the Greyhound Welfare and Integrity Commission revealed that 52 greyhounds died suddenly or were euthanised after injury in 2019-20, the lowest rate on record in NSW.
It was also down 58 per cent from 2016-17 however the total injury rate - including less serious injuries - has increased since then.
"NSW already has the highest standards of greyhound welfare in Australia and the lowest catastrophic greyhound racing injury rates on record, but that doesn't mean we can rest on our laurels," Mr Anderson said.
"Once the new technology is implemented in the second half of this year, registered greyhounds will be sighted, scanned, and accounted for on an annual basis.
"This new technology will guarantee the tracking and monitoring of every single registered greyhound across its life and ensure a safer and stronger industry."
Last June the government released a code of practice for the welfare of greyhounds used in the racing industry, it came into effect in January.
It was described by Mr Anderson as a 'significant turning point' for the industry after live baiting on Queensland, NSW and Victorian tracks was exposed in 2015.
There was also evidence of dogs being slaughtered and dumped in an industry tainted by the culling of failed racers, as well as over-breeding.
A NSW upper house committee is conducting an inquiry into the Greyhound Welfare and Integrity Commission's performance as an independent regulator, with public hearings yet to be scheduled.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:
HAVE YOUR SAY
- Send us a letter to the editor using the form below ...