(Image: Nicki Kohl/Telegraph Herald via AP, File)

The discovery in August that Australian greyhounds were being "exported" to the UK and re-shipped to China -- a location to which Australian dogs are not permitted to be directly sold given the appalling treatment they face -- has shone a light on the federal government's refusal to prohibit greyhound exports. State body Greyhound Racing Victoria is currently investigating the UK export case.

Notionally, greyhounds can't be exported without a permit from industry body Greyhounds Australasia (GA) -- which won't approve export to destinations like China, Hong Kong, Macau (home of the sickening Canidrome, now closed) and Vietnam, which have a record of animal abuse.

The requirement has been effective in reducing the number of greyhounds directly exported to such countries. But it is an industry-run scheme, with no external sanctions for breaches and no legislative support. Some in the industry evade the requirement either by shipping via countries like the UK or, potentially, New Zealand, to where most exported Australian greyhounds are sent -- or ignore the requirement altogether.