Free the Snoot

PLEASE TAKE ACTION!

We need your help to free the snoots by the end of 2021!

We ask that our supporters write to their local State MP and request they support the removal of the muzzle requirement for greyhounds which is included in the Dog Amendment (Stop Puppy Farming) Bill 2021.

Please copy and paste the template letter below and email to your MP. Edit to include your greyhound’s story and why you believe this law must be removed as soon as possible. Individual letters hold more weight so please make an effort to edit the letter, or even better, write your own. Find background information on the muzzle law and the Free the Snoot campaign on this webpage below the template letter. 

Find your MP here: https://www.parliament.wa.gov.au/parliament/memblist.nsf/WAMembers

ABOUT THE FREE THE SNOOT CAMPAIGN 

The ‘Free the Snoot’ campaign was launched in 2016, with the aim to remove the breed specific legislation that requires companion greyhounds to be muzzled in public in Western Australia.

Greyhounds are the only dog breed in WA that are required to be muzzled due to an outdated law that is soon to be repealed by the WA Government.

The WA Government is following the lead of NT, VIC, NSW & ACT Governments and some local QLD Governments that have changed the muzzle law in recent years.

Nowhere else in the world besides Northern Ireland and our own WA, SA and TAS are greyhounds required to be muzzled in public.

Read more about the greyhound muzzle law here.

In July 2019, just before the statutory review of the Dog Act, Free the Hounds tabled petitions to both the upper and lower house of State Parliament, containing over 4,000 local signatures in support of the removal of the muzzle law.

Over the public consultation period of the Dog Act review, the State Government received over 1100 submissions showing strong community support for the removal of the muzzle law.

On November 26th 2019, the WA Government announced it would change the law so pet greyhounds are no longer required to wear a muzzle in public in WA.

In February 2020, the Dog Amendment (Stop Puppy Farming) Bill 2020, which includes the removal of the requirement for pet greyhounds to be muzzled in public was introduced to WA Parliament.

There were delays with progressing the Bill further due to urgent COVID related bills needing to be prioritised and opposition to the bill from the dog breeding community and members of the Liberal, National and Shooters, Fishers and Farmers parties.

The Bill was reintroduced to WA Parliament on June 2nd 2021 and passed the Legislative Assembly on 17th August. Now the Bill is expected to be debated in the Legislative Council in early September. 

Dear [Mr/Mrs – insert surname]

I am writing to you to ask you support the removal of the requirement for pet greyhounds to be muzzled in public, which is included in the Dog Amendment (Stop Puppy Farming) Bill 2021.

I would like to express my support for the complete removal of the section 33(1) of the Dog Act 1976 in relation to companion greyhounds and the requirement for them to be muzzled in public for the following reasons:

1) Greyhounds are kept as pets in countries where the muzzle requirement has never existed and there is not a higher incidence of greyhound attacks to people, dogs or other animals.

2) Western Australia, South Australia and Tasmania are the only Australian states still with this law. All other states and territories (VIC, NSW, ACT, NT, and parts of QLD) have successfully removed this law, with no evidence of a greater incidence of greyhound attacks.

3) The RSPCA has found no evidence to suggest that greyhounds as a breed pose any greater risk than other dog breeds.

4) The position supported by veterinary behaviourists is that the behaviour of a dog should be based on that dog’s individual attributes not its breed.

5)  As a breed, greyhounds are known for their friendly and gentle disposition, despite their upbringing in the racing industry.

6) Muzzling contributes to unwarranted negative public perceptions about greyhounds and their suitability as pets, impacting adoption opportunities.

7) There is no evidence to suggest that breed specific legislation such as compulsory muzzling is effective in preventing or reducing dog attacks.

8) The current ‘prescribed assessment program’ is not suitable for many greyhounds and can give flawed results. As with any behavioural assessment, it only can provide a snapshot of an animal’s behaviour at a certain point in time. It doesn’t recognise changes that may occur in a dog’s behaviour over time, which could be influenced by many factors including environment, relationships and overall health. Its implied assurance may also discourage dog owners from taking ongoing responsibility for their pet’s behavioural developments.

9) Evidence suggests legislation that increases the responsibility of all dog owners for their dog’s actions, regardless of breed, for example through harsher penalties, leads to a reduction in dog attacks and increased community safety.

10) Wearing a muzzle may be detrimental to a greyhound’s welfare. There have been several greyhounds recently attacked in WA by other dogs that have subsequently died from being unable to defend themselves due to wearing a muzzle.

Moving forward, I support responsible dog ownership — this applies to owners of greyhounds or any other dog breed. If a dog is known to be reactive or aggressive, then that dog should wear a muzzle when it is required. 

Yours sincerely,

[insert name]