Saturday, February 18, 2017

Greyhound welfare, rehoming greyhounds and oesophageal foreign bodies in dogs

The NSW Government is seeking feedback re the recommendations of its Greyhound Industry Reform Panel

Since announcing a backdown on the Greyhound Racing Prohibition Act banning greyhound racing in New South Wales, the State Government has been keen to rapidly progress industry reforms.

The Recommendations of the Greyhound Industry Reform Panel have been published. These include both a best practice governance structure and an animal welfare plan including establishment of an independent Greyhound Welfare and Integrity Commission.

The reform panel, headed by former Premier Morris Iemma, has made 122 recommendations based on the McHugh report and consultation with stakeholders.

They are seeking feedback as soon as possible.

For those of us who read the McHugh report (900 pages) this is a light read at just over 80 pages. Recommendations highlighted in the Government press release include:
  • Restrictions on keeping small animals on properties with greyhounds;
  • An independent regulator with broad investigative powers;
  • An enforceable code of practice for greyhound welfare;
  • Whole-of-life registration and tracking of greyhounds;
  • An accreditation scheme for industry participants;
  • Increased penalties for animal welfare offences;
  • Strict controls on euthanasia;
  • Improved safety at tracks.

The panel did not recommend a breeding cap at this stage, nor did they recommend zero unnecessary euthanasia. Other recommendations are consistent, consistent in principle, partially consistent or occasionally not consistent with the McHugh report.

To read the document in full and have your say, click here.

Meanwhile the Australian Veterinary Behaviour Interest Group (AVBIG) of the AVA is hosting a webinar on the rehoming of racing greyounds. “Through their eyes: helping a retired greyhound adjust as a pet” is presented by Dr Karen Dawson from 8-9pm on March 1. There is a fee to register which varies depending on your membership status. Click here for more info.

Finally, Dr Trudi McAlees is conducting a survey on oesophageal foreign bodies in dogs. She is calling on any and hopefully all veterinarians to do some citizen science. This is a survey that does involve looking up the practice records so you will need access to those to do it.

As Dr McAlees says. “The most arduous part of participating in the survey will be looking up your practice records to find the last foreign body dog case, and then listing the breed of dog of the 10 cases that presented for any reason directly prior to the oesophageal foreign body dog patient. Completing the rest of the survey will take only a few minutes.”

She will be sharing the results in the Centre for Veterinary Education’s Control and Therapy newsletter. Click here to start. Please do it soon - the deadline is February 26.