Investigation finds 72 Australian dog owners and trainers have exported dogs for racing in Asia.
Investigation finds 72 Australian dog owners and trainers have exported dogs for racing in Asia. Max Fleet

Australia exports dogs to Asian prison cells, and it’s legal

SLOW greyhounds are being shipped to Asian countries to live out their days in "prison-like" conditions.

Welfare group Animals Australia teamed up with ABC's 7.30 program to reveal at least 72 Australian owners and trainers have exported hundreds of dogs to race in Macau, China and Vietnam, in defiance of industry rules.

The practice is not currently illegal by Australian law, but animal rights advocates are calling for a change.

"A snapshot of this industry's sins is damning," Animals Australia chief investigator Lyn White said.

"They drug dogs, they kill dogs, they live bait, and now we are seeing them encourage similar callous disregard for animals in other countries.

"Australia has literally exported greyhound racing cruelty to the world."

Shadow agriculture minister Joel Fitzgibbon called on the Federal Government to make the industry-mandated export passport system Australian law, so those who flouted the rules could face criminal charges.

"The industry's leadership shares community concern and has acted by asking the Turnbull government to make the 'passport' system mandatory," he said.

"However, to date (Agriculture Minister) Barnaby Joyce has refused to meet with the industry to discuss better welfare outcomes for greyhounds."

Greyhound Racing NSW this week launched an inquiry into unauthorised exports after its own three-month investigation.

"Currently, any person found to have exported a greyhound to an international jurisdiction (excluding New Zealand) without having satisfied the requirements of the rules risks serious penalties including fines and suspension or disqualification from greyhound racing," it said in a statement.

Anyone with information about unauthorised greyhound exports can contact GRNSW's welfare and integrity hotline on 1800 680 174 or visit