RSPCA WA considers that there are significant ongoing animal welfare problems in the greyhound racing industry. Some of the key animal welfare issues posed by greyhound racing are explained below.

What needs to change

RSPCA WA considers that there are significant ongoing animal welfare problems in the greyhound racing industry. Given the numerous unresolved animal welfare concerns associated with the sport, RSPCA WA does not support greyhound racing. For as long as the sport continues, we believe the following must happen:

  • An effective national identification and traceability system for all greyhounds must be developed and implemented, to ensure each greyhound born is accounted for throughout their lifetime, including effective oversight.
  • Systems must be implemented to ensure the robustness and transparency of the data gathered (e.g., independent auditing and regular inspections rather than a reliance on self-reporting).
  • Comprehensive data on lifecycle (birth to death) records and injury statistics must be collected and published (this should be mandatory).
  • Independent funding for animal welfare and integrity checks and enforcement must be secured and sustained.
  • Increased checks for banned substances and enforcement of strong penalties must be implemented and sustained.
  • Any greyhound racing must be overseen and regulated by an independent body, with a formal and complete separation of the integrity and regulatory functions from the commercial functions.
  • Compulsory animal welfare standards must be adopted and enforced for greyhounds at all life stages, to eliminate practices that cause injury, pain, suffering or distress, and to ensure all greyhounds have a good quality of life.
  • Formal and effective processes must be introduced to address oversupply and wastage. The industry must expect and ensure that greyhounds will be rehomed as companion animals on retirement and provisions must be made to ensure their wellbeing after racing, including appropriate socialisation throughout their lives.
  • Third party adoptions (i.e., those not through organisations like GAP) should be verified and followed up to ensure they are genuine.
  • Injury rates need to be effectively addressed, racetrack safety improved to reduce injuries, and systems implemented to ensure greyhounds receive adequate treatment and rehabilitation if injured.
  • Continued investigations and surveillance for live baiting and other serious animal welfare offences, and enforcement of strong penalties for any animal welfare offences.
  • Greyhounds should not be exported to other countries for racing.

To learn more, please head to our RSPCA Knowledgebase article: What are the animal welfare issues with greyhound racing? – RSPCA Knowledgebase

How can I adopt a retired greyhound?

There are a number of organisations that arrange adoption of retired greyhounds into suitable homes.

Greyhound Adoptions WA 

Greyhound Angels of WA 

Greyhounds as Pets 

You'll find more useful information about what to consider when adopting a greyhound here.