FAQs: Removal of muzzling requirements for pet greyhounds
On 23 April 2018, the Minister for Agriculture announced that from 1 January 2019 pet greyhounds won't need to be muzzled in public.
What are non-racing greyhounds?
Non-racing greyhounds are pet greyhounds. They are greyhounds that are retired from the sport of racing (including breeding), are registered with the local council, and are no longer registered as racing greyhounds with Greyhound Racing Victoria.
From 1 January 2019 does it still have to be muzzled?
No. The legal requirement for your pet greyhound to be muzzled in public will no longer apply from 1 January 2019 if it is retired from the racing industry.
You can choose to keep a muzzle on your pet greyhound in public if you want to.
If your greyhound is showing signs of hyper-excitability or agitation around other dogs, consider keeping a muzzle on it when walking in public.
A muzzle should fit your greyhound comfortably and not restrict normal behaviour such as panting and drinking.
Does a pet greyhound have to be on a leash when out in public?
Yes. All greyhounds must be leashed at all times when in public, including council off-leash areas.
Will greyhounds undergo an assessment prior to rehoming not-for-profit greyhound rehoming organisations?
From 1 January 2019, there will be no mandated assessments required before a greyhound is rehomed. Some rehoming organisations, such as Greyhound Racing Victoria's Greyhound Adoption Program, will continue to complete an assessment prior to rehoming a greyhound.
Suitability assessments are strongly recommended to ensure that a pet greyhound is a good match for the prospective owner.
Specific requirements may apply to registered shelters and pounds that rehome animals.
Not-for-profit greyhound rehoming organisations will be able to rehome all pet greyhounds without muzzles from 1 January 2019.
Do I have to register my pet greyhound with council?
Yes. Registering pet dogs with your local council is a requirement under the Domestic Animals Act 1994. You may be fined for not registering your pet greyhound.
How are pet greyhound owners educated about responsible greyhound ownership?
Animal Welfare Victoria, in consultation with stakeholders, has developed an education resource to inform current and prospective greyhound owners about the legal requirements and responsibilities of owning a pet greyhound.
The resource covers important topics of greyhound ownership including, introducing exercise and enrichment, understanding greyhound body language and behavioural cues.
Will the Greyhound Racing Victoria Greyhound Adoption Program continue?
Yes. Greyhound Racing Victoria's Greyhound Adoption Program (GAP) has been operating for 22 years and leads Australia in adopting greyhounds in record numbers. Every year there will be many greyhounds that retire from racing that need placing in the community as pets. GAP will continue to provide racing greyhound owners and trainers assistance in rehoming their greyhounds. Greyhounds that pass the GAP assessment will continue to be issued with GAP green collars.
From 1 January 2019, could a greyhound stop racing one day and then be a pet and be un-muzzled the next day?
The new Code of Practice for the Keeping of Racing Greyhounds comes into effect on 1 January 2020 and provides a pathway for greyhound retirement and rehoming. This looks to ensure greyhounds are well socialised and adjusted to transition to life as a pet.
Currently, greyhound rehoming programs should (and often do) include a wind down period for transitioning racing greyhounds to pet life. For example, Greyhound Racing Victoria's Greyhound Adoption Program undertakes a 28 day wind-down period before rehoming any greyhound.
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