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Tuesday, 26 February 2013
Page: 1032

Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry: Greyhound Exports

(Question No. 2649)


Senator Rhiannon asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs, upon notice:

(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.


Senator Ludwig: The answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

(1) The department, through the Live Animal Export Program, provides the certification required for a dog to be exported. This activity is regulated under Part 3 of the Export Control (Animals) Order 2004.

Country

Number in 2011

Number in 2010

Argentina

13

5

Austria

1

1

Belgium

1

 

Canada

1

 

China

19

24

Czech Republic

5

 

Fiji

1

 

Finland

 

1

Germany

1

 

Hawaii

2

 

Hong Kong

65

135

India

1

 

Italy

 

3

Macau

309

280

New Caledonia

 

1

New Zealand

272

330

Pakistan

1

1

Russia

1

4

Singapore

 

2

Thailand

 

2

United Kingdom

3

6

United States

7

2

Total

703

797

 

* The department does not have information available prior to 2010 regarding the number of greyhounds exported due to data being collated by species to a country not by breed.

(2) Please refer to the answer to question 1.

(3) Please refer to the answer to question 1.

The department can not specify how many greyhounds are exported for the gambling industry as there is no legislative requirement for information to be provided on the purpose or end use of the export of companion and other animals. (

(4) The Australian Government is aware of allegations by animal welfare groups about mistreatment of greyhounds in Macau. The Australian Government has not been provided with substantiated evidence to support claims of adverse animal welfare outcomes.

(5) The Australian Government is aware of the campaigns.

(6) (a) The Export Supply Chain Assurance System is for the export of feeder and slaughter livestock only and does not apply to the export of companion and other animals.

All dogs exported from Australia are required under the Export Control (Animals)Order2004 to be inspected by a veterinarian. Each dog must be found to be in good health and fit for travel by the veterinarian before the department will issue an export permit and health certificate.

(b) The Australian Government has not been provided with substantiated evidence to support claims of adverse animal welfare outcomes.

Australia supports the efforts of governments in other countries to improve animal welfare in many ways, including through providing information on animal welfare standards and systems used in Australia.

(7) (a) The Australian Government has provided advice to Greyhounds Australasia when sought.

(b) The Australian Government is aware of the Greyhounds Australasia review.

(c) Yes

(d) The Australian Government has been consulted and will in due course consider the recommendations from Greyhounds Australasia's review.

(8) The Australian Government is aware of a petition that was sent to the Prime Minister in November last year. The Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry was provided a copy and has not yet responded.

(9) No