Straight tracks the next step to curtailing injuries
Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) chief veterinarian Dr. Rick Symons has discussed plans to further reduce the declining injury rate within the NSW greyhound racing industry.
The Greyhound Racing Injury Report for the April 2017 to June 2017 quarter indicated that a decrease in the total number of racing injuries in NSW in the three month reporting period compared to the previous quarter.
The total number of greyhound racing injury incidents during the quarter was 21.7 per 1000 race starts whereas the previous quarter had an injury rate of 28.2 per 1000 starts.
In an interview with ABC Newcastle’s Paul Bevan, Dr. Symons attributed the reduction to GRNSW’s committed approach towards animal welfare.
“GRNSW is putting a lot of work in trying to make sure the tracks are suitable for racing, and one of the aspects of that is looking at the profile of tracks and checking that the profile is suitable and that it has the right density. Part of the process is ensuring that the track does not have different levels of hardness across and underneath the surface,” Dr Symons said.
Over the past two years, GRNSW has been committed to preventing and reducing injuries associated with racing, including an extensive track maintenance program which is led by the GRNSW Operations unit.
Greyhound Racing NSW has also called for expressions of interest from GRNSW registered clubs to conduct straight track race meetings.
The introduction of straight track racing is seen as a key welfare initiative for GRNSW in its objective to reduce racing-related injuries and improve welfare outcomes for racing greyhounds.
In his interview with the ABC, Dr. Symons confirmed that the majority of injuries, especially those of catastrophic nature, occur around the corners of the track.
“The evidence is that the corners are a risk area for greyhounds and a lot of that is about the steepness of the corner, the change in direction in the corner,” Dr Symons told the ABC.
“One of the aspects that we are looking at (to reduce injuries), is how steep a corner is, to reduce the curve around that or increase the camber on a corner to reduce the stresses on the greyhound's legs,” Dr Symons said.
Expressions of interest for straight track meetings close on 17 November.
To listen to the full interview click here.