Code of Practice for the Operation of Greyhound Establishments
This Code is made under the provisions of Section 59 of Division 4 of the Domestic Animals Act 1994 ("the Act") and applies to all Greyhound Establishments that are considered to be a Domestic Animal Business under this Act.
The purpose of the Code is to specify the minimum standards of accommodation, management and care which are appropriate to the physical and behavioural needs of greyhounds housed in establishments including those for the breeding and rearing, boarding and training for greyhound racing.
The Code and its provisions are to be observed by owners and operators ("the proprietor") of establishments and by people who work in them. All greyhound establishments must comply with State and Local Government legislation and permits.
All greyhounds entering establishments for the purposes of boarding must be identified and all reasonable special requirements requested by the greyhound owner must be complied with, such as administration of medication, feeding of special diets, bathing and grooming. Additionally any instruction of an attending veterinary surgeon must be complied with.
Breeding and rearing establishments are required to display the guarantee defined in Section 3.3 of this code in a prominent position on the wall of the reception area where greyhounds are sold. All greyhound-boarding establishments must carry a minimum of $5,000,000 Public Liability insurance cover.
The proprietor of a greyhound facility is responsible for the overall management and conduct of the establishment and for the welfare of the greyhounds housed therein.
In particular, the proprietor is responsible for:
- the well-being of all greyhounds in the establishment;
- the supervision of staff;
- the maintenance and collation of records and statistics;
- supervision of daily feeding, watering and inspection of all greyhounds;
- supervision and examination of greyhounds upon entry;
- the overall level of hygiene in the establishment, including the disposal of waste materials;
- provision of prompt veterinary attention for greyhounds when required;
- notifying owners (or their authorised representatives) of boarded greyhounds as soon as possible when an animal is observed to be ailing or injured or promptly after a veterinarian has examined the animal.
- ensuring that Part 5 of the Act - Boarding of Dogs and Cats is prominently displayed in the reception area of the establishment so that all prospective clients can read it.
- developing a plan for an emergency situation
2.2 The Veterinarian
The proprietor of the establishment must have a written agreement with sufficient veterinarians to be on call for the treatment of greyhounds other than first aid and for humane euthanasia where an overdose of barbiturate is used.
2.3 Kennel Attendants
The proprietor must train or employ experienced personnel for the handling and management of greyhounds. Kennel attendants are responsible to the proprietor for,
- daily feeding, watering and inspection of all greyhounds
- daily cleaning of facilities, ie. hose out, replace soiled bedding, feeding and watering utensils,
- immediately reporting to management greyhounds showing any of the following symptoms
- runny nose
- runny or inflamed eyes
- repeated sneezing
- diarrhoea, especially if bloodstained
- inability to stand or walk
- bleeding or swelling of body parts
- weight loss
- apparent pain
- fits or staggering
- bloating of abdomen
- difficulty or inability to urinate or defecate
- red or brown coloured urine.
- exercising greyhounds as required by the manager.
Where a greyhound establishment has external Breeding, Boarding and/or Spelling components, one full time kennel attendant must be employed for every 50 greyhounds. Internal Boarding or Spelling kennels must employ one full time kennel attendant for every 30 greyhounds.
Racing or Breaking kennels must employ one full time kennel attendant for every 25 greyhounds in the facility. Additional part time staff may be required periodically to maintain adequate care for the greyhounds, particularly those facilities involved in training
Staff health must be protected by the provision of appropriate work clothing, adequate hand washing facilities and tetanus immunisation. Information must be supplied and displayed in staff areas on disease-causing organisms, which can be transmitted to humans (zoonoses), and personal hygiene procedures must be such that transmission could not occur.
All greyhounds must be fed at least once a day. Puppies between three and four months of age require a minimum of three feeds a day and between four and six months of age must be fed a minimum of twice daily with a nutritionally balanced diet. The food provided must contain acceptable nutritive values in sufficient quantity to meet appropriate daily requirements for the condition and size of the animal.
All greyhounds must have a permanent supply of fresh, clean water.
Food and water containers must be non spillable and of a design that can be easily cleaned and does not cause injury to the greyhounds.
3.2 Vaccination and health care
Vaccination against distemper, hepatitis, canine cough and parvovirus is required for all greyhounds in the establishment. A current vaccination certificate (ie certifying that vaccination was done within the preceding 12 months and that the "due date" for the next vaccination has not been passed) must be produced for each greyhound being boarded before admission. Vaccination against and checking for heartworm infection is recommended prior to admission or mating.
Greyhounds must be placed on a proven effective and safe worming program.
In an establishment where greyhounds are boarded, facilities must be available either at the establishment or at veterinary premises for isolation of greyhounds that are suspected of, or have been diagnosed as having an infectious condition.
Sick greyhounds which are not infectious but which may be stressed by contact with other greyhounds must be separated but not necessarily isolated.
3.3 Sale of Pups
New owners must be given literature about feeding, parasite control, health - including procedures for emergency treatment during the guarantee period, housing and responsible pet ownership including current legislation covering the registration of pet and retired greyhounds. They must also be encouraged to seek advice about problems with the greyhounds from veterinarians and other people with experience in animal care and management.
If a greyhound is unacceptable to a new owner because of health, or other reasons excluding injuries after sale, that are supported by a statement from a veterinarian, within seven days of purchase, the establishment must take the animal back and refund all monies or offer a replacement greyhound of comparable quality with the same guarantee. If the greyhound dies or is euthanased from a disease that is traceable to the point of sale, the establishment must refund the purchase price or offer a replacement greyhound with the same guarantee.
The establishment is to be clean and hygienic at all times. All pens must be cleaned out at least once per day (twice daily if inspection shows it is required) by hosing or other appropriate means after removing all used, contaminated bedding and litter and all uneaten food by hand before hosing, to ensure the pen is fresh and clean. Uneaten food must be placed in sealed plastic bags for disposal.
Greyhound establishment sites must have an adequate water supply and must be sewered or on a septic system, or have some other adequate method of disposing of faeces.
Waste and cadaver disposal must be in accordance with the requirements of the local government authority. Use of a trade waste service for collection and disposal of wastes is preferable. Wastes must not be incinerated.
After cleaning, sleeping areas must not be allowed to remain wet.
Disinfection of pens must be done prior to whelping or whenever the occupant of the pen is changed with hospital grade disinfectants. Utensils must be rinsed after disinfecting to avoid poisoning. Manufacturer's instructions for the use of these agents must be followed.
All watering and feeding utensils must be cleaned daily.
Pests including fleas, ticks, flies, mosquitoes and rodents must be effectively controlled. Chemicals used for pest control must be either prescribed by a registered veterinarian and\or registered by the National Registration Authority (NRA) under the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Code (Commonwealth) and used only in accordance with manufacturer's instructions.
Greyhounds in minimum sized pens must be exercised. Greyhounds in enclosures larger than 20 square metres do not normally require additional exercise. Care must be taken to ensure that dogs being exercised are not in danger of attack or other injury. Treadmills must only be operated while a person at least 14 years old is in attendance.
- Exercise can be provided by:
- Allowing greyhounds access to an exercise or training area for at least 10 minutes twice daily, and/or
- Walking the greyhounds on a lead for at least 10 minutes twice daily, and/or
- Swimming, walking machine (treadmill), or galloping on an exercise or racing track.
Kennel area must be able to be securely locked to prevent unauthorised entry.
Each individual kennel or run must be fitted with a secure closing device that cannot be opened by the greyhounds.
Any security methods used must allow for ready access to greyhounds and ready exit for staff and greyhounds from the premises in the event of an emergency.
All boarding establishments must have a secure external perimeter fence surrounding the kennel facility to prevent the escape of greyhounds. Design and materials used must ensure the security of the facility and the safety of the greyhounds.
Dogs should be safe from attack, stress or injury and their behavioural needs should be met.
3.7.1 Pen definitions
Greyhound facilities may include pens for;
- rearing young dogs (Rearing Yards),
- resting dogs not racing (Spelling Yards),
- housing dogs being boarded (Boarding Kennels),
- whelping pups and housing the litter to sixteen weeks of age (Whelping Kennels). This is inclusive of the kennel and yard,
- dogs that are currently being raced (Racing Kennels) and
- housing breeding animals (Spelling Kennels).
- Pens may be constructed inside a building and typically include Racing Kennels and may include Whelping Kennels and Spelling Yards.
- Pens constructed outside typically include Rearing Yards, Boarding Kennels, and Spelling Yards and may include Whelping Kennels.
- For the purposes of this code, Kennels and Yards are defined as a sleeping area and an attached accessible exercise area.
3.7.2 General construction and materials
Greyhound kennels must be designed, constructed, serviced and maintained in a way that ensures the good health and well being of the animals, whilst preventing escape or injury to humans.
Housing must provide protection from the weather (wind, rain sun and extremes of climate), vermin and harassment from other animals.
Materials should be selected for ease of maintenance and cleaning, durability and non-toxicity.
Where water impervious materials capable of conducting heat are utilised, adequate insulation or approved heating or cooling must be incorporated in the ceiling and north and west facing walls to minimise heat conduction.
3.7.3 Inside Housing
The internal surfaces of the perimeter walls of all buildings and any internal solid walls (not mesh) must be constructed of impervious, solid, washable materials optimally curved at the wall/floor junctions to facilitate cleaning and disinfection.
Floors of inside pens must be made of an impervious material or coated with an impervious material to assist cleaning and drainage. Wood, brick, dirt or grass floors are not acceptable for inside pens.
Floors of all inside pens must be sloped to enable wastes and water to run off. A collection drain must be provided to take away water after cleaning.
Where pens are constructed indoors, temperature, humidity and ventilation must be considered. Ventilation must be adequate to keep greyhound housing areas free from dampness, noxious odours and draughts. An ample supply of fresh air should be available.
3.7.4 Outside Housing
Dirt or grass floors are acceptable in outside pens. Floors of outside pens must be well drained and maintained free of holes or other hazards that may cause injury to greyhounds.
Kennels or Yards constructed outdoors require natural shade or separate or attached roofing to be maintained to provide sun protection with 75% shade cloth or appropriate shade material to a four square metre area.
Kennels or Yards may be separated by either solid partitions, galvanised chain wire or weld mesh wire dividers. Fencing must be maintained in an escape proof condition, with wire mesh not exceeding 75mm x 50 mm hole size. Puppy enclosure (pups less than 8 weeks) fences should not exceed a mesh size of 50mm x 50mm.
3.7.6 Sleeping areas
All housing areas must be provided with a weatherproof sleeping area containing a raised bed for each animal. Sleeping area for Kennels should be enclosed on three sides to a minimum height of 1.5 metres with solid partitions. Appropriate warm, clean, vermin resistant bedding must be provided and maintained.
Floors of sleeping areas must be made of an impervious material or coated with an impervious material to assist cleaning and drainage. Wood, brick, dirt or grass floors are not acceptable for sleeping areas.
Sleeping area floors must be sloped to enable wastes and water to run off. A collection drain must be provided to take away water after cleaning.
The minimum sleeping area is 0.9 square metre per dog
3.8 Enclosure sizes
A litter may be housed together until the pups are 16 weeks old.
A maximum of four pups between the ages of four and nine months may be housed together however the proprietor is responsible for ensuring inhabitants are protected from harassment or injury by others in the pen.
Pups housed together must be the same age.
A maximum of two dogs, older than nine months of age, may be housed in Spelling Kennels or Rearing Yards. Boarding Kennels must not exceed one dog per pen unless specifically requested in writing by the owner(s) of the greyhounds that a maximum of two dogs are kennelled together.
One greyhound only is permitted to be housed in each Racing Kennel.
Racing Kennels (Inside)
A) A minimum floor area of 3 square metres with a minimum dimension of 1.2 metres for greyhounds that:
(ii) are less than 2 years of age and have documentation completed daily recording the times the dog has been exercised. This must be twice a day in accordance with the exercise requirements of this code.
B) A minimum floor area of 10 square metres with a minimum dimension of 1.2 metres for greyhounds that do not meet the above criteria.
Spelling and Boarding Kennels (Inside)
A minimum of 10 square metres with a minimum dimension of 1.2 metres for the first dog with an additional 10 square metres for the second dog for boarding or spelling longer than 28 days. For short term boarding or spelling (less than 28 days) a minimum of 3 square metres is required with a minimum dimension of 1.2 metres and an additional 1.7 square metres for a second dog.
A minimum of 15 square metres with a minimum dimension of 1.2 metres for a bitch and litter.
Rearing Yards, Spelling and Boarding Kennels (Outside)
Adults - a minimum of 250 square metres with a minimum dimension of 1.2 metres
Pups (4 - 9 months) - a minimum of 150 square metres with a minimum dimension of 1.2 metres
The proprietor of the establishment shall ensure that the following details are recorded and retained for five years:
- the name and identification number of each greyhound over four months of age
- a description of each greyhound over six months including;
- sex and whether the greyhound is entire or desexed
- birth date
- earbrands and other distinguishing features,
- dates of vaccination and matching Vaccination Certificates
- heartworm treatment and
- microchip details.
- details of each litter bred including;
- name of dam, registration details, date of birth and any other relevant details including earbrands
- name of sire, registration details, date of birth and any other relevant details including earbrands
- date of mating(s)
- date of whelping
- sex and identification number of each of the litter including earbrands
- dates of worming, worm treatment used and dose rate administered
- dates of vaccination and matching Vaccination Certificates
- name and address of purchaser and date of disposal and
- microchip details
- dates of disposal\ death and cause of death of all greyhounds including puppies,
- daily records of exercise for all greyhounds that are eligible to be housed in Racing Kennels with a floor area of 3 square metres
The following information must be recorded relating to each greyhound admitted for boarding, rearing and/or education/training:
- the name of the owner,
- contact telephone number and address of the owner or the owner's authorised representative,
- a description of the greyhound including:
- sex and whether the greyhound is entire or desexed
- details of condition on arrival
- distinguishing features
- date of admission
- expected date of collection
- details of medical, dietary, bathing and grooming requirements
- any collars, leads or belongings brought in with the greyhound
- vaccination status
- heartworm treatment (dogs)
- name and contact telephone number of the owner's veterinarian and
- microchip details if implanted
- any behaviour changes during boarding,
- the written request of owner(s) to house two or more greyhounds per pen during boarding.