Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) today received confirmation from RSPCA NSW that there is no evidence to suggest acts of animal cruelty are occurring in the greyhound racing industry in NSW.
GRNSW made contact with RSPCA NSW after it was made aware that the ABC’s 7.30 program was to air a story this evening on the greyhound racing industry dealing with allegations of animal cruelty.
All greyhound racing participants in NSW are bound by GRNSW’s Code of Practice and the Greyhound Racing Rules which outline animal welfare standards, as well as strict management and care practices that are appropriate to the physical and behavioural needs of greyhounds.
GRNSW has a zero tolerance policy for participants who do not meet our animal welfare standards. Any trainer found ending the life of a greyhound in an inhumane manner or mistreating the greyhounds in their care in some other way is not welcome in our sport. They would not only be violating the rules of greyhound racing and our code of practice, but could also be committing a criminal offence under the NSW Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.
GRNSW is committed to improving the welfare of greyhounds in NSW. Since assuming responsibility for animal welfare in 2009, GRNSW has set about launching numerous initiatives to ensure that the welfare of all animals is a primary consideration for all participants in the greyhound industry. This commitment will ramp up over the next 12 months, with $1.3 million to be invested on greyhound welfare in that period.
By encouraging smarter breeding practices, ensuring safer racing and providing greater re-homing opportunities, GRNSW is confident it will provide a better life for greyhounds after racing.
The 7.30 program is also expected to air allegations by former Wentworth Park on-course veterinarian Dr Ted Humphries about participants using banned substances on their greyhounds.
This is not the first time Dr Humphries has made allegations of this nature to the media, however, he continues to ignore GRNSW’s requests asking him to provide evidence to support his allegations.
GRNSW has also repeatedly invited Dr Humphries to discuss his concerns with our Integrity Department, but he has never replied.
Maintaining the integrity of greyhound racing is at the heart of what GRNSW does, it is a core function of the organisation and integral to maintaining punter confidence in the sport and a level playing field for participants.
Over the last year GRNSW ramped up its drug detection activities taking 5,562 samples – a 47 per cent increase on the level of swabbing in the previous year. The increase in swabs carried out across all winning greyhounds and at random was made possible after GRNSW nearly doubled its swabbing budget for 2012/13 following an increase in positive swabs in the previous year.
The increase in the detection of prohibited substances coincides with GRNSW’s enhanced approach to race day integrity operations.
This includes the establishment of a ‘control room’ at GRNSW’s head office in Rhodes, which receives live feeds of the race broadcast footage, surveillance footage from the kennel blocks and utilises video conferencing equipment to facilitate communication between the tracks and office in real time together with modern bet monitoring tools.