Parliamentary inquiry into the Greyhound Welfare and Integrity Commission

The Select Committee on the Greyhound Welfare and Integrity Commission was established on 23 September 2020 to inquire into and report on the Greyhound Welfare and Integrity Commission (GWIC) as the independent regulator of the greyhound racing industry in New South Wales. The committee is seeking the views of interested stakeholders including members of the public by 11.59pm, 29 January 2020.

The inquiry was proposed by and is chaired by Robert Borsak, leader of the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers party. Borsak believes that “GWIC have wreaked havoc on greyhound racing with their animal rights agenda” and that “the greyhound industry has been through enough”. The deputy chair is Greens MP, Abigail Boyd.

We need as many people as possible to make it very clear to the NSW State Government that there must be no reduction in GWIC’s ability to protect greyhounds. If any or all of GWIC’s welfare and integrity responsibilities are returned to the commercial entity Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) this would create a totally unacceptable conflict of interest.

  • Find out more about the inquiry on the parliamentary website here
  • Read the CPG submission here
  • View the Guardian Australia article here

Please provide your feedback via the online questionnaire here:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2CKSPFJ by 29 December.

We have provided suggested responses to the form questions in the grey shaded areas below which can be copied into the survey form. The suggested responses are for guidance only so please tailor or replace them with your own thoughts and experiences as this will add to the impact.

Completing the feedback form

Question 1 and 2 are for your personal details.

Question 3. How satisfied are you with the regulation of the greyhound industry by the Greyhound Welfare and Integrity Commission?

Select Neutral/Don’t know

Question 4. What impacts, positive or negative, have you seen following the creation of the Greyhound Welfare and Integrity Commission?

The establishment of GWIC has enabled a greater level of transparency combined with improved reporting and oversight. However, GWIC is severely limited in its role as an independent regulator by a lack of necessary powers, resources and ministerial support. This means they are unable to meet their principal objective of “promoting and protecting” greyhound welfare as expected by the public and in line with current and applicable legislation.

My dissatisfaction does not reflect on the efforts of the GWIC staff to police the greyhound racing industry but with the funding model and lack of government support to enable them to do their job.

5. How appropriate is the disciplinary action for those industry participants who breach legal requirements as set out by the Greyhound Welfare and Integrity Commission?

Select Inappropriate

6. Do you have any comments on the appropriateness of disciplinary action for those industry participants who breach legal requirements as set out by the Greyhound Welfare and Integrity Commission?

The disciplinary action for industry participants breaching GWIC legal requirements is neither adequate or sufficient. It fails to provide appropriate penalties and consequences in line with public expectations, particularly where the welfare of greyhounds is compromised, risked and impacted. Penalties awarded for administering a prohibited substance are far too lenient given the long-term detrimental impact this can have on the welfare of individual greyhounds.

7. Do you have a view on the options for appeal for those industry participants who breach legal requirements as set out by the Greyhound Welfare and Integrity Commission?

No comment.

8. Do you have a view on the relationship between the Greyhound Welfare and Integrity Commission, Greyhound Racing NSW, and industry participants?

Frequently, GRNSW and industry participants appear to undermine and disrupt GWIC in the performance of its regulatory duties. It is totally inappropriate for GRNSW and industry participants to attempt to influence GWIC regulations, policies and procedures.

GWIC requires ongoing, independent and fully transparent government funding separate from GRNSW. Only with funding independent of the industry commercial entity can GWIC undertake and fulfil its statutory role to the standard expected by the public.

9. How satisfied are you with the actions, conduct and effectiveness of the Greyhound Welfare and Integrity Commission, in particular in relation to its role in improving the welfare of greyhounds?

Select Neutral/Don’t know

10. How satisfied are you with the actions, conduct and effectiveness of Greyhound Racing NSW, in particular in relation to its role in improving the welfare of greyhounds?

Select Very dissatisfied

11. Do you have any comments on the actions, conduct and effectiveness of the Greyhound Welfare and Integrity Commission and Greyhound Racing NSW, in particular in relation to their role in improving the welfare of greyhounds?

My response to question 9. is not a criticism of GWIC staff. The Greyhound Racing Act limits which greyhounds can be inspected. Additionally, a lack of resources restricts GWIC staff from monitoring those greyhounds the Act permits them to inspect.

Further to my response to question 10., in 2017, GRNSW commissioned a report from the University of Technology Sydney on how to make tracks safer. GRNSW has not acted on the main recommendations of the report. As a result greyhounds are still being killed and injured during racing at an unacceptable level. GRNSW is responsible for ensuring that every greyhound no longer required for racing or breeding finds a home. They have not done this.

GRNSW is conflicted in its stated role and purpose between commercial viability, industry participant support and greyhound welfare. GWIC has a key responsibility for protecting and improving the welfare of greyhounds. However, it is limited in its ability to fulfil this principal objective by issues and uncertainty around the current funding model; a lack of support from GRNSW and the NSW Government; and inadequate resources.

Thank you so much for letting the NSW Government know how strongly people feel about the suffering inflicted on greyhounds. Please comment on the CPG facebook site facebook.com/CoalitionForTheProtectionOfGreyhounds/ or email cpgconnect2020@gmail.com if you have any questions or suggestions.

Image by photohun from Pixabay

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