As with all dogs in the Territory, greyhounds (including racing greyhounds) are required to be registered when the dog is over 8 weeks old; has been kept in the ACT for 28 days or more; or the dog’s keeper has been an ACT resident for 28 days or more.
If a greyhound is owned as a domestic pet and not for racing, the registration is for the lifetime of the dog. If a greyhound is owned for racing purposes, the registration is annual (1 year) a dog registration form is available online.
Racing Greyhound Controller Licence
A person in day-to-day control of a racing greyhound is required to obtain a racing greyhound controller licence. This licence is under the Domestic Animals Act and will be valid for one year. The licence application form is available online.
Existing racing greyhound keepers
If you had day-to-day control of a greyhound that was registered with a greyhound racing controlling body prior to 30 April 2018, then you are considered to hold a racing greyhound controller licence until 30 October 2018, unless earlier surrendered or cancelled. If, under these arrangements, you still hold a racing greyhound controller licence, you are not required to apply for another licence until 30 October 2018.
However, if you worked in, or were involved in, greyhound racing in the ACT and received assistance from the Territory in relation to the ending of greyhound racing in the ACT, then you are ineligible to apply for racing greyhound registration or a racing greyhound controller licence for the period agreed in writing between the Territory and yourself, as a condition of the assistance. It is an offence under the Criminal Code 2002 to make false and misleading statements.
From 30 April 2018 Greyhounds are considered by default to be kept for racing purposes, unless otherwise stated, either on the dog registration form or by declaration to the Registrar of Domestic Animals. Existing owners prior to 30 April 2018 are also required to make such declaration if their animal is not being used for racing. Non-Racing Greyhound declaration form is available here (PDF 119KB) | Word version (DOC 73KB).
Temporary Change to Dog Housing Address
If a greyhound is to be kept at the premise of any person other than the registered owner or veterinary housing for more than 28 days the registered owner must advise the Register of Domestic Animals. Temporary change of address form is available online or in paper form (PDF 122KB) | Word version (DOC 73KB).
Notification of Exotic or Endemic Disease
In accordance with the Animal Diseases Act 2005, the controller of a racing greyhound that has been diagnosed with, or is suspected of having, an exotic or endemic disease must advise the Register of Domestic Animals in writing. Exotic or Endemic Disease form is available here (PDF 122KB) | Word version (DOC 71KB).
Notification of birth of Greyhound puppies
In accordance with the Domestic Animal Act (Racing Greyhounds) Amendment Act 2017, the owner of a greyhound that has given birth in the ACT is required to complete this notification form within 7 days of the date of birth. Notification of birth of Greyhound puppies form is available here (PDF 121KB) | Word version (DOC 75KB).
Owners of greyhounds wishing to breed their dogs can apply to Domestic Animal Services to keep their dog/s entire. This permit means they are exempt from the offence of owning a dog which has not been desexed. It is a strict liability offence under the Domestic Animals Act 2000 to own a dog which has not been desexed.
However some exemptions to apply which include:
- the dog is less than six months old, or
- Domestic Animal Services is satisfied the dog is a racing greyhound.
Keeping four or more dogs
Under the Domestic Animals Act, it is an offence for a person to keep four or more dogs unless in accordance with a multiple dog licence.
The licence is issued by Domestic Animal Services after a site visit is conducted. A licence will only be granted where a number of requirements have been met, including the suitability of the owner (i.e. no previous animal welfare offences), and the suitability of the premises and the pens/runs in which the dogs will be kept. DAS also consults with surrounding residents before issuing a licence.
Greyhounds in public places
Recent amendments to the Domestic Animals Act (which commenced on 15 June 2017) removed the requirement for greyhounds to wear a muzzle while in public, and the limit of three greyhounds being walked at any one time.
Greyhounds need to comply with all other existing requirements for dogs in public places. This includes being on a leash except in designated off-leash areas or enclosed dog parks and complying with all animal nuisance requirements.
As part of its existing services, greyhound owners wishing to surrender their dogs may surrender them to Domestic Animal Services or RSPCA ACT. Owners will be requested to complete a surrender form which outline the dog's history and assists Rangers in assessing the dogs for rehoming. Domestic Animal Services actively works with many rescue groups, including Greyhound Rescue, to re-home as many dogs as possible.
The treatment of greyhounds is covered by the existing penalties against animal cruelty in the Territory. Maximum penalties of up to 100 penalty units ($15,000) or 1 year imprisonment or both apply where person commits an act of cruelty on an animal. In certain circumstances, that penalty rises to 200 penalty units ($30,000) and 2 years imprisonment where the cruelty causes death or serious injury to an animal.