‘That is an appalling record’

‘That is an appalling record’

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Greyhound at full speed during a race. Source - Depositphotos.

The debate surrounding greyhound injury reports between the Coalition for the Protection of Greyhounds (CPG) and the Racing and Waging Western Australia (RWWA) may be over… for now.

Following on from The Examiner’s article ‘Industry says figures quoted by group are not accurate’ on July 9, RWWA said it was transparent in its annual greyhound injury report.

CPG divisional manager Andrea Pollard said that one in two greyhounds were injured in the last financial year according to the 736 injuries reported for 1391 greyhounds racing that year.

But RWWA said the 736-greyhound starters reported in 2019 represented 556 individual greyhounds.

“Fifty two per cent of reported injuries are of a minor nature but are reported because greyhounds are performance athletes and therefore are subject to a higher level of veterinary assessment than pets,” the spokesperson said.

“The majority of these injuries require little more than rest and recuperation with the greyhound returning to compete at full capacity often within 10 days.”

RWWA said its two injury recovery schemes were there to ensure that any greyhound that sustains a major injury is provided with the appropriate care and afforded every opportunity to recover.

“The first option provides financial assistance to owners and trainers to cover the cost of veterinary treatment,” the spokesperson said.

“Many owners and trainers choose this option as they wish to keep their greyhound as either a pet or for breeding purposes.

“Under this scheme RWWA reimburses the trainer/owner for a proportion of the veterinary costs.

“The financial contribution is only required to be paid back to RWWA if the greyhound is to return to racing.

“Alternatively, the second option allows the trainer/owner to sign ownership of the greyhound over to RWWA, where all veterinary costs are paid for, and once recovered the greyhound is rehomed through RWWA’s Greyhounds as Pets (GAP) program.

“Under no circumstances is the owner or trainer required to pay RWWA back for its financial contribution under this scheme.

“With these injury schemes in place, a greyhound will only be euthanised following an injury if the on-course veterinarian determines this to be in the best interest of the greyhound’s welfare due to a poor prognosis for recovery.”

However, CPG said these injury schemes were used around the country to make it look like they care about the dogs.

“Now that RWWA has finally made available the full details of injuries that greyhounds suffered in WA over this period, it’s clear that our estimate of one in two greyhounds being injured was very close to the mark,” she said.

“RWWA’s data shows 40 percent of all greyhounds that raced were injured -that is an appalling record and nothing to be proud of.

“Having a toenail ripped off is extremely painful, as any human knows who has suffered that injury. “As far as we are concerned, that’s the end of the debate.”