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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 363 asked in the Legislative Council on 10 April 2019 by Hon Alison Xamon

Parliament: 40 Session: 1

Answered on

ANIMAL WELFARE — GREYHOUND RACING INDUSTRY

363. Hon ALISON XAMON to the minister representing the Minister for Racing and Gaming:

I refer to the letters tabled in response to question without notice 269—namely, the Minister for Racing and Gaming's correspondence with the federal Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources seeking regulatory and legislative change to prevent the exporting of greyhounds, and the federal minister's response, which stated that he had attempted to implement change but had not been able to secure the necessary support of the states and territories.

(1) Did Western Australia support the federal government's proposal to regulate greyhound exports when it was raised at Agriculture Ministers' Forum in May 2016?

(2) If no to (1), why not?

(3) If yes to (1), does the government still support the federal government's proposed approach?

Hon ALANNAH MacTIERNAN replied:

I thank the member for the question. The following information has been provided to me by the Minister for Racing and Gaming.

(1) I understand that regulations governing the exporting of greyhounds from Australia were due to be discussed at the Agriculture Ministers' Forum in May 2016. However, because this was held in May 2016, which was prior to the McGowan government's election, the Western Australian position on the issue would have been a matter for the former Liberal–National government's consideration. However, since the election in March 2017, the Minister for Racing and Gaming has taken a keen interest in the welfare standards relating to the treatment of greyhounds in the Western Australian greyhound racing industry, including the export of greyhounds to countries with no or limited welfare laws.

(2) Not applicable.

(3) Despite Minister Papalia's letter to Minister Littleproud and subsequent continued lobbying from Greyhounds Australasia, the federal government continues to argue that the power for change rests with the states because it requires their consensus before it can take action. However, I am advised that improving the oversight and prevention of greyhound exports from Australia to countries that do not meet the necessary welfare requirements can easily be achieved through regulatory changes by the federal government under the Export Control (Animals) Order 2004. Given the ongoing requests from Greyhounds Australasia, which is the representative body of the greyhound racing industry nationally and liaises with relevant state industry bodies, such as RWWA, I suggest that the decision for change and action is the responsibility of the federal government.