Greyhounds are not permitted to race until they have reached the age of 16 months. Once they reach this stage, RWWA has many rules and policies in place to ensure that the best levels of care are given to greyhounds whilst they are racing.
RWWA’s Stewards regularly conduct kennel inspections to ensure compliance with the Rules of Racing.
Below provides a summary of the types of rules and policies that are currently in place. However, to view the full Rules of Racing and full range of Stewards policies please click here.
The 'Code of Practice for the Keeping of Greyhounds within the Western Australian Racing Industry' has been prepared by RWWA’s Integrity Department, in consultation with people who have expertise in greyhound management, welfare and veterinary science. The code was developed with input from RSPCA WA whose welfare officers assisted with review and development of this code through a RWWA-RSPCA WA working party. The purpose of the document is to describe standards and guidelines that safeguard the welfare of greyhounds within the racing industry in Western Australia.
Under this Code, the Minimum Standards set the minimum level of conduct required. They are based on current scientific knowledge, recommended industry practice and community expectations.
The Guidelines provide information to improve awareness of good welfare practices and encourage the considerate treatment of greyhounds.
The Code is designed to encourage a consistent approach that will:
The Code emphasises the importance of good management practices, pointing out that persons in charge of greyhounds have a legal liability.
The overriding theme of this Code is that the wellbeing of the greyhound must at all times be considered above the demands of owners, breeders, Participants, sponsors, officials or spectators.
The full Code of Practice for the Keeping of Greyhounds within the Western Australian Racing Industry can be found here.
To ensure that the best levels of care are given to greyhounds whilst they are racing appropriate veterinary care is required.
Therefore, greyhound trainers are required to establish a relationship with a veterinary practitioner to provide advice and treatment as needed and immediate veterinary attention must be provided for sick or injured greyhounds, to relieve pain, suffering and distress.
Persons in charge of greyhounds must be able to recognise common signs of disease and ill health and take reasonable measures to respond to these observations, which includes seeking veterinary advice.
Whilst racing greyhounds must be vaccinated in accordance with the RWWA Rules of Greyhound Racing which includes at a minimum vaccination against distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus, parainfluenza virus and bordetella bronchiseptica (C5).
Furthermore, internal and external parasites must be controlled through routine preventative treatments.
Participants must also have appropriate biosecurity measures in place to prevent the spread of infectious conditions within the kennel and they must maintain either an isolation area on the property to isolate sick animals or have suitable isolation facilities available off site.
In addition, greyhounds are vet checked at the commencement of each race meeting to ensure that they are in a suitable condition to race. The greyhounds’ weight is also recorded at every race meeting to ensure they’re maintaining a healthy weight range.
When training greyhounds it’s important that they have suitable living conditions. Whilst a greyhound is racing, Trainer’s must provide accommodation that is in line with strict guidelines, including:
Western Australia is well-known for its hot summer days and therefore RWWA has a hot weather policy to ensure in instances where the temperature and humidity reach extreme levels, the greyhounds receive necessary care.
When the hot weather policy is activated the following are observed:
However, where the temperature rises above 40°C, or the Stewards are of the opinion that the temperature is likely to rise above 40°C during the meeting, the Stewards may abandon the meeting, or cancel particular races of that meeting.
Breeding greyhounds is no easy task as it requires extensive knowledge as well as complete dedication, as it incredibly time-consuming.anc_Link1
The early stages of a greyhound’s life are extremely important for their development and their early rearing environment is critical for building resilience.anc_Link2
When a greyhound retires from the racing industry, at any age, the owner must aim to have every healthy and behaviourally sound greyhound re-homed.anc_Link3