Transition To Water In Kennels

Transition To Water In Kennels

17/01/2017
Welfare News

The introduction of water in kennels at all race meetings is one step closer this week with the commencement of a voluntary transition period at all TAB and Non-TAB tracks in NSW.

The transition period will take place up until 19 February 2017. 

While participation in the transition period is voluntary, Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) strongly encourages participants to take part in it over the coming weeks.

GRNSW staff and club staff will be available at all tracks to guide participants through the transition period prior to water in kennels becoming a mandatory requirement from Monday 20 February.

GRNSW Chief Veterinary Officer Dr Rick Symons said the new water in kennels requirement is part of GRNSW’s ongoing commitment to improving the welfare of greyhounds.

“The Code of Practice for the Keeping of Greyhounds in Training outlines fresh water in non-spillable containers must be available to greyhounds at all times. This initiative addresses this key welfare concern under that code. This is because dehydration in greyhounds, as in human athletes, can have a harmful impact on the dog and have a significant effect on its performance,” Dr Symons said.

The transition period comes on the back of a trial of water in kennels at The Gardens in December, which was well supported by participants. 

The trial, overseen by GRNSW Head Veterinarian Dr John Newell, concluded that there were no adverse effects on a greyhounds welfare or race performance as a result of having water available in kennels. The trends that were indentified in this trial were consistent with other work conducted by Professor Linda Blythe and Greyhound Racing Victoria.

GRNSW would like to thank participants who have taken part in the water in kennels trial to date, and looks forward to working with participants and stakeholders as this welfare initiative is implemented.

The water in kennels requirement is outlined in full in the GRNSW Race Day Hydration and Hot Weather Policy.

Click here to view the Race Day Hydration and Hot Weather Policy.

Frequently Asked Questions
Why is this policy being introduced?
The requirement for water to be provided to greyhounds in kennels is to ensure that greyhounds always have access to clean water and reduces the risk of dehydration, especially for greyhounds competing in later races.

What are the requirements for the bowl I need to provide?
Participants are to provide a stainless steel bowl with a hook, allowing the bowl to attach to the kennel bay.

The bowl should be big enough to allow a greyhound to drink whilst wearing a muzzle.

Who will provide the water? How much water will be provided?
GRNSW and clubs will be providing bottled water. The amount provided will be between 250mL and 500mL.

What is the process for re-weighing prior to races?
Greyhounds, immediately prior to racing, will be allowed to be taken out of the kennel block to empty out before coming back into the kennel block for an identification check, re-weighing and collect their racing rug.

What security measures will be in place?
GRNSW will be working with club staff to implement measures ensuring adequate supervision of the updated policy.

What if a greyhound returns a positive swab for a prohibited substance?
If a prohibited substance is detected in a greyhound, the trainer of that greyhound is provided with the opportunity to make representations and provide evidence to any related inquiry. This could include how they believe the prohibited substance came to be present in the greyhound.

What will happen if a trainer does not provide a bowl for their greyhound?
The updated policy comes into effect on Monday 20 February, at which point Stewards may begin to take action under the Greyhound Racing Rules. GRNSW encourages participants to begin bringing their bowl to race meetings from Monday 16 January so this becomes routine by 20 February.