A muzzling exemption only applies to greyhounds that have successfully completed a greyhound re-training program which has been approved by the Chief Executive by order published in the NSW Government Gazette. To successfully complete an approved program, a greyhound must be deemed suitable to be unmuzzled in a public place by an authorised greyhound assessor.
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 key objectives of approved greyhound re-training programs are to counter the greyhounds' strong instinct to chase prey and to ensure that the greyhounds are properly socialised.
An authorised greyhound behavioural assessor must assess a greyhound that has completed an approved re-training program to determine whether or not it is suitable to be unmuzzled when in a public place.
Only non-racing greyhounds (ie, retired-racing greyhounds, those kept solely for the purpose of being a pet and show greyhounds) are eligible to complete an approved program and therefore be eligible for an exemption.
The muzzling exemption does not apply to a greyhound that is a dangerous dog or a restricted dog.
To be eligible to take part in an approved program, a greyhound must be microchipped and desexed (unless it is registered with Dogs NSW for the purposes of showing, in which case it is not required to be desexed).
A greyhound must also be lifetime registered before undertaking an approved program. However, if the approved program holds an exemption from lifetime registration under clause 16(d) of the Companion Animals Regulation 2008, the greyhound is only required to be lifetime registered by the approved program by the time it is rehomed to a new owner.