Greyhound racing

In April 2017, the NSW Parliament passed legislation to establish the new regulatory regime for greyhound racing in NSW. The Greyhound Racing Act 2017 implemented a number of recommendations of the Greyhound Industry Reform Panel (Panel) to ensure greyhound racing in NSW can continue to operate while meeting community expectations of animal welfare.

The recent reforms focus on the welfare of greyhounds and creation of a viable, sustainable and long-term greyhound racing industry in NSW.

The reforms

The Act established a new regulator of the greyhound racing industry, the Greyhound Welfare & Integrity Commission (the Commission), and reconstituted Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) as the body responsible for the commercial aspects of greyhound racing.

Greyhound Welfare & Integrity Commission

On 1 July 2018, the Commission commenced operations as the industry regulator. The objectives of the Commission are:

  • to promote and protect the welfare of greyhounds,
  • to safeguard the integrity of greyhound racing and betting, and
  • to maintain public confidence in the greyhound racing industry.

The Commission consists of three Commissioners, including a Chief Commissioner, appointed by the Governor on the joint recommendation of the Minister for Racing and the Minister for Primary Industries. The Commission’s CEO is responsible for its day to day management.

The Commission is responsible for the regulatory functions of greyhound racing, including developing and implementing policies relating to the welfare of greyhounds, registration and licensing of greyhounds and participants, administering and enforcing the Greyhound Racing Rules, and conducting Stewards inquiries and investigations.

Further information about the Commission’s roles and responsibilities, the policies and rules administered by the Commission and how to report welfare concerns can be found on its website.

Greyhound Racing New South Wales

GRNSW will continue to be the body responsible for commercial aspects of greyhound racing. The objectives of GRNSW are:

  • to be a commercially viable entity,
  • to exhibit a sense of social responsibility by having regard to the welfare of greyhounds, and
  • to promote greyhound racing in the State as a competitive and sustainable industry with a high level of public trust.

The affairs of GRNSW are managed and controlled by a board of directors appointed by the Governor on the recommendation of the Minister for Racing. GRNSW’s CEO is responsible for its day to day management.

The recent reforms require that GRNSW, in addition to organising and promoting race meetings, is responsible for developing new greyhound racing education and training programs and developing and overseeing programs to facilitate the rehoming of retired greyhounds.

Further information about GRNSW, its roles and responsibilities and details of its racing program and new rehoming and education and training programs, can be found on its website.

Greyhound Industry Reform Panel

The Panel was established to provide recommendations on potential new animal welfare and governance arrangements to reform the industry and restore confidence in its integrity. Read the Panel's Terms of Reference (PDF, 190 KB).

On 16 February 2017, the Panel's final report (PDF, 606 KB) was publicly released. The report set out a number of recommendations to reform the greyhound racing industry in NSW. Key recommendations of the Panel include:

  • the establishment of the Commission as the industry regulatory,
  • zero tolerance for animal cruelty and mandatory life bans from the industry for live baiting,
  • whole of life-cycle tracking of a greyhound so its whereabouts are known,
  • clear obligations for owners to be responsible for greyhounds for their full natural life, and
  • separation of the commercial and regulatory functions to minimise potential conflicts of interest and restore public confidence in the industry.

On 28 March 2017, the NSW Government released its response, adopting all but one of the Panel’s recommendations.

The NSW Government has committed $41 million over the next five years to implement the reforms, with $11 million for the establishment and initial operation of the Commission and $30 million to improve animal welfare including track upgrades to reduce injury risks.

The recent legislative reforms to the greyhound industry give effect to a number of the Panel’s recommendations. The Office of Racing will continue to work with the Commission and GRNSW to ensure all recommendations adopted by the Government are implemented.

Media releases

Reports