ON TRACK: As animal welfare group Coalition for the Protection of Greyhound calls for an end to racing ahead of the statewide Millions Dollar Chase on September 3, 2020, Casino Greyhound Racing Club and the Greyhound Welfare and Integrity Commission said the increase of adherence to stricter guidelines and the good work on on-course vets has seen injury and death rates decrease. Photo Lisa Vander
ON TRACK: As animal welfare group Coalition for the Protection of Greyhound calls for an end to racing ahead of the statewide Millions Dollar Chase on September 3, 2020, Casino Greyhound Racing Club and the Greyhound Welfare and Integrity Commission said the increase of adherence to stricter guidelines and the good work on on-course vets has seen injury and death rates decrease. Photo Lisa Vander

Greyhound report shows decline in ‘catastrophic injury’

A GREYHOUND racing official refutes claims the dogs are mistreated, saying, "There's not one person in the greyhound industry who wants to see a dog injured - I've seen hard men in tears when one of their animals has been hurt".

Ahead of Thursday's Million Dollar Chase race at Casino Greyhound Racing Club, acting secretary-manager Luke Mason said owners and officials take every care to ensure the animal's health and welfare.

"I know one owner here who's dog had to be euthanised and he was very distressed," Mason said.

"Owners love their animals and the Greyhound Welfare and Integrity Commission ensure there's access to immediate veterinary care on-track and Greyhound Racing NSW's Injury Rebate Scheme assists with treatment and rehabilitation costs if your dog cannot race again."

His comments followed an announcement from the Coalition for the Protection of Greyhounds who said, since January 1, 2020, there has been one animal death and 54 injures at the Casino track.

CPG national president, Dennis Anderson, called for an end to greyhound racing as NSW gears up for the Million Dollar Chase races held at clubs across the state.

"Yet the Government gives multi-millions to an industry which causes greyhound deaths and injuries every week across this country," Anderson said.

He said CPG's proposals are part of a five-point plan developed to reform the racing industry, including safer tracks, whole-of-life tracking of each dog, reduced breeding, sanctuaries and increased penalties for mistreatment.

But GWIC chief veterinary officer, Dr Michelle Ledger, said the new report, showed the lowest catastrophic injury rate since reporting began in 2016 and the lowest overall injury rate since 2018.

"The results were a positive indication that the industry's increased focus on safety and welfare is paying off," she said.

"The last quarter saw the lowest overall injury rate reported since 2018 and the majority of those injuries were classified as 'minor' which require a stand down period of ten days or less," Dr Ledger said.

"The rate of greyhounds suffering a catastrophic injury resulting in euthanasia or death was 0.5 per 1000 starts, which is the lowest catastrophic injury rate recorded in NSW since reporting began."

Data from the last 12 months also shows that the number of euthanasia's performed at the track have halved when compared to the previous year.