In NSW all pet greyhounds were required to wear a muzzle in public unless they had completed an approved retraining program.
From 1 July 2019 this legal requirement no longer applies to pet greyhounds registered on the NSW Pet Registry.
The change is part of the NSW Government’s commitment to improving living standards and rehoming rates for the breed and to help improve whole-of-life tracking of racing greyhounds.
Just like all breeds of dogs in NSW, greyhounds will still be required to be on a leash while in public at all times, unless they are in a council designated off-leash area.
In addition, a greyhound will still require a muzzle in an off-leash area if it has not undergone an approved retraining program. Greyhounds that have completed this program will continue to wear identifying green collars.
Greyhound re-training programs approved by the Chief Executive are published in the NSW Government Gazette. The muzzle exemption process is administered by Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) as part of its Greenhounds program, in accordance with Guidelines for approval as a greyhound re-training program under clause 33B(1)(a) of the Companion Animals Regulation 2008
The same penalty that applies now for an un-muzzled greyhound in an off-leash area will still apply if the animal has not completed an approved retraining program.
The requirement for muzzling in off-leash areas will be transitional until the socialisation of ex-racing greyhounds is settled as part of the ongoing work of Greyhound Racing NSW and the Greyhound Integrity & Welfare Commission, including the development of a new Animal Welfare Code of Practice. The code will set out socialisation requirements for each stage of a greyhound’s life to ensure their suitability to be rehomed.
As with all dog breeds in NSW, greyhounds owners will continue to have the discretion to muzzle their dogs should they choose to do so and they will still be required to use a muzzle if the dog has been declared to be menacing or dangerous.
In addition, the Office of Local Government will be issuing guidance recommending that owners muzzle their pet greyhound for eight weeks after registering their animal. This cautious approach will allow the greyhound to settle into its new environment and the owner to monitor and assess the dog’s behaviour.
These changes are being implemented in a way that balances the welfare of greyhounds and other animals, with community safety. The changes also deliver on a recommendation by the Greyhound Industry Reform Panel and follow extensive consultation with the industry and the community.
Amendments will be made to the Companion Animals Regulation 2018 to reflect the new arrangements.
If you have any questions or require additional information, please do not hesitate to contact the Office of Local Government’s Program Delivery team on 02 4428 4100 or firstname.lastname@example.org