By Ross Barnett APM Queensland Racing Integrity Commissioner
It is incumbent on the Commission to uphold animal welfare standards and as a major part of that the Commission has established processes to monitor and report on greyhound injuries and euthanasia.
The Commission has two main animal welfare initiatives in this area that includes the convening of a group of stakeholders which reviews all serious and catastrophic greyhound injuries on Queensland racetracks and for transparency the Commission also publishes public reports on breeding, injuries and euthanasia numbers for each quarter.
The Queensland Racing Integrity Commission Greyhound Race Injury Working Group includes the following representation: The Commission’s Animal Welfare Manager, Chief Greyhound Steward, and Chief Veterinary Officer, Racing Queensland’s Greyhound Strategy and Development Officer, Animal Care Manager and Senior Track and Racecourse Manager. A greyhound owner, trainer and breeder also take part in the group on a rotated quarterly basis along with a greyhound club representative. In addition, further expertise as the chair deems appropriate is also added to the group and may include personnel such as Racing Club managers, track design engineers and on track veterinarians.
The group’s objective is to review all serious and catastrophic injuries in a consistent and detailed manner, including in races, in individual greyhounds and considers racetrack factors.
The aim is to investigate, understand and record the real and potential causes of racing injuries to ensure that Queensland greyhound racing injury data collation and analysis meet the best practice standards of the national greyhound industry.
The group makes recommendations to the Commission and Racing Queensland for the development and implementation of preventative measures that will reduce the rate and severity of injuries to racing greyhounds.
As I mentioned earlier, greyhound injuries and deaths are published in QRIC Stewards reports and in quarterly reporting data that is available on the QRIC website.
To assist the Commission in reporting the data accurately I would like to remind all greyhound racing participants to ensure they keep their records up to date.
It is part of your agreement as a participant in the industry that you ensure your records are accurate including your reporting requirements.
The Commission’s quarterly reports utilise the data from OzChase, on-track race day veterinarians’ reports and race day Stewards’ reports.
The quarterly reports also include data for – Greyhounds whelped and named, compared with the previous year, retirement, death and euthanasia as reported by owners during the reporting periods.
The reports show the number of greyhound retirements as self-reported by owners and the accuracy of the data is reliant on that information being provided in the appropriate format.
I encourage you to also keep your retirement/de-registrations notifications up to date.
The Commission is working hard to ensure animal welfare standards are high and industry practises are scrutinised for the benefit of the animals and for the benefit of the future of greyhound racing in this state.
I would encourage owners and trainers to read the reports on the QRIC website at qric.qld.gov.au/veterinary-services-animal-welfare/greyhound/greyhound-breeding-race-injury-and-retirement-quarterly-reports/