In contrast to the GRSA who have given clear and early advice of meeting cancellations due to extreme heat, the GRV have clearly failed to deliver the same kind of leadership on an issue which cuts to the heart of Animal Welfare in the greyhound industry.
While cancellations have been the norm in the thoroughbred codes for the past few days, and GRSA have cancelled three meetings due to temperatures being forecast to go past the 40C mark; Greyhound Racing Victoria seems to have adopted a “turnover at all costs” attitude.
Tuesday’s Horsham meeting went ahead despite offical Bureau Of Meteorology temperatures hovering in the mid 30C’s and surely temps were much higher “on track”.
Wednesday’s MGRA mid-week meeting at The Meadows pushed ahead despite temperatures ranging from 41C to nearly 44C for the duration of the meeting. Fortunately many trainers showed more commonsense than their administrators, electing to scratch their greyhounds rather than risk running then in the seering heat. One race was so decimated by scratchings that only three dogs faced the starter.
Ballarat’s night meeting went ahead Wednesday with temps in the 30C’s before dropping during the course of the meeting.
And yesterday at Bendigo the course veterinarian had to step in and tell GRV Stewards to abandon the meeting after the first two races with temperatures reaching a high of 42C. The question though has to be asked, why the meeting went ahead at all with those kind of temperatures clearly forecast by the Bureau Of Meteorology?
Last evening’s Sandown meeting went ahead with temps in the 39C’s before dropping over the meeting, with GRV making a token effort of opening the kennels a whole 5 minutes earlier than usual.
All today’s meetings at Wangaratta, Warragul and Traralgon are still going ahead, despite forecasts of 44C temperatures for all locations.
For such an important Animal Welfare issue, the GRV’s response, or lack of it so far; has been dissapponting at best. It’s time the GRV showed the same kind of clear and distinct leadership on this issue that the GRSA has done.
If temperatures are forecast to be 40C or over, greyhound racing should be abandoned.
It’s that simple.