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Notice given 6 December 2012

*2649†  Senator Rhiannon: To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs ( transferred to the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry on 11 December 2012 )—

(1) For each year in the past 5 years, can details be provided of how many greyhounds have been exported from Australia and to which countries, including how many to each country and what animal welfare frameworks each country has in place with specific regard to greyhounds.

(2) If the Government does not know these details, why not.

(3) How many greyhounds are exported specifically to mainland China and Macau, detailed separately, and how many of those dogs are being exported for the gambling industry.

(4) Is the Minister aware that: (a) greyhounds exported to Macau are treated in conditions described by Macau’s Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau animal control department as ‘terrible’, and that every dog imported from Australia was dead within 3 years; (b) these imported animals are kept in cages so small they can barely turn around; (c) from 21 October to 31 December 2009, 302 of the 655 imported racing dogs at the Macau racetrack suffered injuries; (d) more than one healthy greyhound a day is killed at the Macau Canidrome greyhound racetrack; and (e) in 2010, 383 imported dogs, almost exclusively from Australia, were culled at the Macau racetrack.

(5) Is the Minister aware of the international campaign to ban greyhound exports to Macau because of the cruelty and suffering meted out to greyhounds.

(6) Given that new export rules for the live export industry require an independently audited supply chain in the importing country to meet animal welfare standards: (a) what welfare standards are in place for the export of Australian greyhounds, particularly given widely recognised animal welfare issues in the industry; and (b) if there are no welfare standards along the supply chain, why is Australia allowing the export of dogs to destinations known for cruelty.

(7) Given that Greyhounds Australasia is holding a formal review of regulatory backing to ensure greyhounds cannot be exported to countries that do not meet animal welfare standards: (a) how is the Government supporting this review; (b) how is the Government working with Greyhounds Australasia to facilitate regulations to disallow export of greyhounds to countries and industries where cruelty has been recorded or raised; (c) is the Minister aware when the review will be completed; and (d) has the Minister or any Government representative been asked to provide input and/or support for the review, given that it involves Government support for export; if not, has the Government sought to provide input and if not, why not.

(8) Is the Minister aware of the petition sent by an alliance of Chinese animal welfare groups to the Prime Minister (Ms Julia Gillard), calling for a ban on greyhound exports to Macau; if so, has the Minister or Prime Minister provided a response.

(9) Does the Australian Government subsidise or support in any way the greyhound export industry; if so, how.