Nathan Tummon with his two greyhounds Sam and Carly.
Nathan Tummon with his two greyhounds Sam and Carly. Maddelin McCosker

Local muzzle laws under consideration

GREYHOUNDS may soon be able to walk in public without a muzzle in the Rockhampton Region.

Following on from Brisbane City Council's decision to phase out old laws, which required the animal to be muzzled, Rockhampton Regional Council has said they are reviewing relevant local laws that enforce the muzzling of greyhounds.

CEO Evan Pardon said the council has taken note of other local government decisions relating to greyhounds.

"There is currently a subordinate law for greyhounds to be muzzled in public places,” Mr Pardon said.

"Council notes some local governments are making distinctions between racing greyhounds and domestic greyhounds.

We are currently reviewing all local laws and this matter has already been identified as one of the items for discussion when the Animal Management Local Law is brought to the council table in the the near future.”

Nathan has had his greyhound Sam for almost two years.
Nathan has had his greyhound Sam for almost two years. Maddelin McCosker

Some greyhounds, if rehomed through the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission Greyhound Adoption Program, are exempt from being muzzled under some local council laws.

Greyhounds adopted through GAP are put through a green-collar assessment.

According to QRIC Commissioner Ross Barnett, this assessment provides a high level of assurance that greyhounds can remain muzzle-free in public.

"A GAP green collar assessment is a behavioural pass mark for the dog, which considers the dog's prey drive and resource guarding behaviours as well as other behaviours,” Mr Barnett said.

"GAP requires the owners of greyhounds to always walk their dogs in public with a leash and for them to remain under the control of their owners.

"If the local council doesn't allow for it, even dogs with a green collar must remain muzzled in public.”

Nathan adopted Carly around nine months ago
Nathan adopted Carly around nine months ago Maddelin McCosker

A Livingstone Shire Council spokesperson said the council had no plans to change their laws which require greyhounds to be muzzled in public places "to prevent the greyhound from biting”.

Why greyhounds make the perfect pet:

FOR Rockhampton dog owner Nathan Tummon, greyhounds are the perfect pet.

After adopting Sam nearly two years ago and Carly nine months ago, Nathan said he's had no trouble with the breed.

"They're so easy,” he said.

"They just sleep all day, they are very low maintenance.”

Nathan's dogs are exempt from muzzling laws but he says he supports a change as the law makes it harder to adopt the breed.

"They're old, outdated and unnecessary,” he said.

Commissioner of the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission, Ross Barnett, said the affectionate dogs make the perfect pet.

"Generally even tempered and gentle, they are pack-orientated dogs, which means that they will quickly adopt human 'masters' into their pack,” he said.

The QRIC-run Greyhound Adoption Program prepares dogs not suited to racing or retiring for life as a pet.

Mr Barnett said the ancient breed of dog, which hunts by sight rather than scent, can often peacefully co-exist with other pets, including cats, dogs and even rabbits.



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