Animal welfare and care must be the highest priority

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Queensland Racing Integrity Commission (QRIC) Director of Veterinary Services and Animal Welfare Dr Martin Lenz is sending a timely reminder to all trainers and owners about the importance of caring for greyhounds around the clock.

Dr Lenz said insufficient care and attention can have severe consequences on the health of greyhounds, even resulting in death.

“It is really important that greyhounds are monitored regularly, in particular after they eat, to make sure they are acting normally,” he said.

“Being a deep-chested breed of dog, greyhounds are more prone to suffer from conditions such as ‘bloat’ after eating, potentially leading to dire consequences, if not attended to immediately. In this condition, the stomach distends and can twist on its axis, leading to a rapid deterioration in the dog’s state of health.

“However, if the dogs are monitored, it becomes obvious that the dog is uncomfortable, and that something might be wrong.

“In these situations, only early veterinary diagnosis and surgical intervention can save the greyhound’s life, so it is vital that all owners and trainers monitor their dogs, especially after eating.”

Dr Lenz said it is important that owners and trainers follow a strict routine of feeding followed by toileting/check-up later in the evening before checking on their dogs again early in the morning each day of the week without exception.

“It is the responsibility of owners and trainers to ensure all greyhounds are in good health and that their environment is clean and safe at all times.

“The Commission’s Stewards conduct regular kennel visits to check that these welfare standards are being met.

“While most owners and trainers love and care deeply for their animals, there are some who fall short in this duty of care, and they can bring the industry into disrepute when issues are reported.

“It is in everybody’s interests that animal welfare is the top priority for the greyhound racing industry, as the standards of animal care and welfare can have a profound effect on public perception of the sport.

“The Commission continues to make concerted efforts to ensure that optimum care is provided to all racing animals.”

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