GREYHOUND Racing New South Wales (GRNSW) has released its quarterly injury report for the April 1 – June 30 period for all TAB and non-TAB racing across the state.
In the second quarter, 310 race meetings were held in NSW, with a total of 5246 individual greyhounds competing in a total of 24,428 events. On average, each greyhound raced 4.6 times across the period.
The report saw a drop in injury rates as a whole, with a total of 590 injury incidents occurring and affecting 563 dogs. Based on these figures, the injury incidents rate was recorded as being 24.2 per 1000 starters.
In comparison, the previous quarterly report noted an injury rate of 27.1 per 1000 race starts. As a percentage, this means that 10.7 per cent of individual greyhounds raced across the quarter incurred at least one injury.
However, important to note was that of the varying types of injury, almost 80 per cent (452) recorded between April and June were considered minor or medium injuries.
According to the report, minor injuries warrant incapacitation certificates between 0 and 10 days and include injuries such as mild skin abrasions/grazes as well as mild lacerations and muscle injuries.
Medium scale injuries were reported to have included joint/ligament sprain, skin lacerations and grade two muscle injury.
During the same period, 39 greyhounds also suffered catastrophic injuries while racing. Of those, 34 greyhounds were euthanised as a result of their injuries and five died as a result of their injuries.
The total number of reported fatalities during the three month period represents a strike rate of 1.6 deaths per 1000 starters – a percentage rate of 0.16 per cent.
Despite greyhound racing expected to be banned in NSW as of July 1, 2017, GRNSW are still working to ensure track surfaces during races and trials are maintained to a high standard to minimise preventable injuries.
As a part of this, research by the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) is currently being undertaken to identify the optimal race track design in regards to canine safety and welfare.
So far the initial findings from the recent project have confirmed that congestion and interference can be reduced when the lure is run near the centre-line of the track.
“The UTS preliminary modelling has also confirmed that the transitions on existing tracks place less than optimal loads on the greyhounds,” the Chief Investigator said.
Subsequently, hoop arm lures are progressively being introduced at tracks across the state, with one already being in use at Richmond.