Greyhound death sparks reform call

FILE PHOTO Ten dogs have died at Warragul this year, sparking calls for reform. Picture: SUPPLIED

By Mitchell Clarke

There are calls to “reform” the greyhound racing industry, after a two-year-old dog was euthanised following a recent race at Warragul.

According to the Steward’s Report, greyhound ‘Jackson’s Valley’ sustained a fractured foreleg after colliding with several dogs during a race on Saturday 26 September.

The young dog was euthanised after the race, making him the 10th dog to die at Warragul this year.

Over 150 greyhounds have died while racing on Australian tracks this year, according to data from the Coalition for the Protection of Greyhounds.

A total of 312 injuries have been recorded at Warragul this year.

All fatal injuries have occurred at track turns, prompting calls for “urgent reform” from the Coalition for the Protection of Greyhounds (CPG).

In a bid to reduce the number of dog deaths and injuries, the CPG have put five demands to the industry.

They want Greyhound Racing Victoria (GRV) to make tracks safer, reduce breeding, increase penalties, fund rescues and implement whole of life tracking.

CPG national president Dennis Anderson said Warragul was one of the “main greyhound graveyards” in the country’s racing industry.

He said the only way to end greyhound suffering was to ban racing.

“Until that happens, the industry must reduce on-track deaths and injuries by implementing safer tracks with an emphasis on straight tracks and six-dog races,” he said.

“Industry-funded research done by the University of Technology Sydney in 2017 recommended straight tracks and six-dog races, instead of the usual eight, to reduce injuries and deaths, yet little has changed.”

Mr Anderson said 94 percent of all deaths had been due to fractured legs.

“Many of these injuries can be treated but the racing industry isn’t prepared to invest in their rehabilitation – greyhounds are disposable,” he added.

But a GRV spokesperson said the loss of a greyhound was “distressing” for all concerned.

Speaking on the death of Jackson’s Valley, the spokesperson said the decision to euthanise was made by a qualified on-track veterinarian.

“Greyhound racing has undergone massive reform in the past five years with welfare and integrity priorities for all involved,” he said.

“All track deaths are investigated and GRV is committed to ensuring greyhounds race on the safest tracks possible.”

As part of a long-term strategy to make tracks safer, the industry is working with the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) to develop a scientific underpinning for safe racing.

“Any changes we make at other tracks will be based on sound research and scientific evidence,” the spokesperson added.