DOGS DYING TO RACE
Dog safety group lifts lid on costs of racing in Bundy
A GREYHOUND was euthanised at each of the Bundaberg Greyhound Racing Club’s last three race meets in 2019, it has been revealed.
The Coalition for the Protection of Greyhounds has lifted the lid on the horror faced by dogs at Thabeban Park, saying it is appalled by the statistics.
Eight dogs were killed at the track during 2019 after becoming injured during racing.
IT’S hardly the trifecta punters were betting on, but the last three Bundaberg greyhound meets in 2019 saw three dogs euthanised – one at each meet – after suffering an injury, according to the local steward reports.
Brooklyn Rocks was euthanised on December 30, Emulating Chloe on December 23 and Queen Poppy on December 16.
Those three deaths brought the total up to eight greyhounds who ran out of the box for the last time at the Bundaberg track last year, after they were euthanised after sustaining an injury.
Two other greyhounds were euthanised at the Bundaberg track on October 14, Whippy Midget and Tyler Lee.
Coalition for the Protection of Greyhounds national vice president Dennis Anderson said he was “appalled” by the region’s statistics.
“For so many dogs to be killed at one track in so short a time is not common,” he said.
But Racing Queensland CEO Brendan Parnell said the injury rates for greyhounds racing at Bundaberg was just over 3 per cent, with the vast majority of those returning to the track inside a fortnight.
“As an organisation, we are continually looking for new ways to reduce the injury and mortality rates contained within our sport including the latest evidence-based research to assist us with this process, however, there are occasions where euthanasia is required due to race day incidents which is unfortunate,” he said.
“This is not an overnight solution, but an ongoing commitment to the care and welfare of our animals.”
When it comes to what could be contributing to the injuries greyhounds sustain while racing, Mr Anderson said there were three recommendations from a University of Technology in Sydney study that could improve the safety of greyhound racing.
Straight tracks, reducing the number of dogs per race and extending the arm lure to the middle of the track to reduce congestion, particularly on the first bend.
“There’s been a lot of research done by the University of Technology in Sydney about the use of straight tracks and they have found that the use of straight tracks causes less death and injury than the use of oval tracks,” he said.
Another aspect Mr Anderson would like to see implemented was a reduced number of hounds per race to six.
“In the United Kingdom races only occur with six dogs, not eight like in Australia,” he said.
Mr Anderson said a trial in February, March and April last year conducted on three Victorian tracks compared the injuries and deaths in the steward reports when six dogs raced compared to eight in December.
“What we discovered was that there is twice as many dogs injured, seriously injured, if there were eight dogs on the track as opposed to six dogs,” he said.
“And in the trial there were no fatalities but in the December racing there were two fatalities”.
Where introducing straight tracks could be expensive, Mr Anderson said “to introduce six-dog racing would cost nothing apart from loss of gambling revenue”.
The final recommendation of extending the arm lure, Mr Anderson said, had been adopted in Victoria.
The Bundaberg Greyhound Racing Club referred the NewsMail to the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission stewards, the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission did not respond by deadline.