Welfare and integrity the key to sustainability

Caption: Some of the smiling faces from a very successful open day at QRIC’s GAP facility. The open day was part of the celebration of National Adoption Month in April.

By SHANE GILLARD, Qld Racing Integrity Commissioner

Animal welfare and racing integrity continues to be our focus as we work with you, the greyhound racing industry to ensure the sustainability of our industry.

This month, I share with you information about our recent vet education sessions, a kennel cough reminder and the success of our Greyhound Adoption Program (GAP) National Adoption Month Open Day.

QRIC Vets brush up on their skills

The Commission recently held vet education sessions for our veterinary services team so they could brush up on their skills.

Delivered by two of Southeast Queensland’s veterinary orthopaedic specialists, the sessions consisted of a theoretical and a practical component where our vets could practice sedation, splinting and bandaging techniques. Supporting our ‘one industry’ commitment, we also invited club representatives, staff from Racing Queensland and our Stewards along – all of whom typically assist on-track vets manage injured dogs.

The Commission is committed to safeguarding the welfare of racing animals and through frequent education and professional development, we can ensure the best outcomes for racing animals are achieved both on and off the track.

We look forward to continuing to provide these sessions to our staff and to the broader industry when relevant, to ensure we continue to uphold the highest level of animal welfare in the industry.

I would like to thank the team at Queensland Veterinary Specialists who donated their time to design and run these two sessions free of charge.

Participants must be aware of Kennel Cough in racing dogs

Greyhound owners and trainers should be aware that there has been an increase in the number of reports of greyhounds with symptoms of Kennel Cough.

Kennel Cough is a highly contagious disease in dogs and is caused by a number of upper respiratory viruses (including canine parainfluenza) and bacteria (usually Bordetella bronchiseptica).
Trainers are advised that any greyhounds suspected of having Kennel Cough or that have been exposed to a greyhound with Kennel Cough, should be scratched from any races and trials they are nominated in, and should not be taken to communal training facilities, or presented to any Greyhound Adoption programs.

If Kennel Cough is allowed to spread, it will impact on all aspects of the industry and therefore avoiding contact between known or suspected Kennel Cough cases and other greyhounds is essential.

Good hygiene and biosecurity practices are vital to limit the spread of Kennel Cough and the impact this disease can have on our industry.

If you have not had your greyhounds vaccinated for Kennel Cough in the past 6-12 months, please ensure you speak to your veterinarian about administering a booster vaccination. The intra-nasal or oral vaccines are faster-acting and more likely to be effective against current strains of Kennel Cough than injectable vaccines.

For more information about Kennel Cough, including the clinical signs, biosecurity information and vaccination considerations, visit the QRIC website.

GAP celebrated National Adoption Month with open day

The Queensland Racing Integrity Commission GAP celebrated National Adoption Month in April by opening its doors to show off their facility.

Visitors explored the GAP learning space, veterinary surgery, the kennels and the free run space. The GAP team were available to answer questions about the adoption and foster process, general greyhound behaviour and understanding their medical needs.

The GAP National Adoption Day Open Day was a great opportunity for potential new greyhound pet owners to explore the facility and meet our greyhounds available for adoption.

The day was a fantastic success with more than 20 dogs going to their retirement homes and plenty more ‘future’ families submitting an adoption application.

We had a lot of interest in the GAP process as we match you to the greyhound that fits into your family and lifestyle.

GAP is vital to the industry’s success, and we encourage our greyhound trainers to contact us if they would like to take advantage of the program.

We are making changes to the program and welcome feedback from greyhound trainers to help shape these decisions. Further details about these changes will be provided in future Chase articles, so watch this space!

 

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