Greyhounds Prohibited From Racing At Coonamble
Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) has made a decision to prevent greyhounds from racing at Coonamble Greyhound Racing Club due to serious concerns about the safety and welfare of greyhounds racing at the venue.
The decision to prohibit greyhounds from racing at Coonamble was made by GRNSW due to the venue having unacceptable rates of major and catastrophic injuries.
Coonamble currently has the highest rate of major and catastrophic injuries with more than 11 such injuries per 1000 starts occurring for the 2016 calendar year, which is outlined in the latest Greyhound Racing Injury Report.
Major injuries are defined as those that require an incapacitation period greater than 21 days. Catastrophic injuries are those which resulted in death or euthanasia at a race meeting.
The decision to prohibit greyhounds from racing at Coonamble will remain in effect until GRNSW is satisfied that the serious concerns regarding welfare and safety at the venue have been addressed.
GRNSW is committed to assisting the Coonamble Greyhound Racing Club in rectifying GRNSW’s safety concerns and is having discussions with the club and arranging an assessment of the track. This assessment will commence with an inspection of the track surface, including cambers around the track and provide recommendations to the club for rectifications to be completed.
The decision means the meeting scheduled at Coonamble this Saturday (25 March) has been abandoned. GRNSW will split prizemoney between all the trainers who had greyhounds entered to race at the meeting.
In addition to prohibiting greyhounds from racing at Coonamble, GRNSW is writing to other clubs with high rates of major and catastrophic injuries putting them on notice to take immediate measures to reduce the rate of injury at their respective tracks.
The latest Greyhound Racing Injury Report for the October 2016 to December 2016 quarter found the total number of reported greyhound racing injury incidents during the third quarter of 2016 represented an injury rate of 24.0 per 1000 race starts.
In comparison the previous quarterly report recorded an injury rate of 26.1 per 1000 race starts.
GRNSW acknowledges that more needs to be done to reduce on-track injuries and is undertaking a range of initiatives to achieve this.
Last year, GRNSW commissioned the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) to undertake a vital piece of research on identifying optimal greyhound race track design for canine safety and welfare. The research project will use an evidence-based approach and aims to prevent injuries during greyhound training and racing by establishing an optimal model for track design and surface.
A mortality review process has also been developed to examine any possible contributing factors to racing incidents which result in the euthanasia of a greyhound. The objective of the mortality review is to identify any trends and address any risk factors that are identified.
GRNSW has also introduced comprehensive injury monitoring and reporting as part of its commitment to substantially decrease the risk of injuries associated with greyhound racing.