Backflip on racing ban at Lismore greyhounds
GREYHOUND racing will return to Lismore on Tuesday night after an assessment from an independent panel helped overturn the decision to close the track.
The track was closed by Greyhound Racing NSW when an injury report compiled over 12 months revealed a high injury and fatality rate at Lismore's track compared to others around the state.
The track was re-open as of yesterday following its sudden closure last Thursday.
An expert panel comprising Professor David Eager of the University of Technology in Sydney, Scott Robins of Greyhound Racing Victoria and David Aldred of GRNSW was formed to inspect the track last Friday.
They concluded it was suitable for greyhound racing and trialling.
The panel found that catastrophic injuries at the track in 2019 were the result of non-track related causes.
"We were always confident with the safety and surface of the track,” Lismore operations manager John Zorzo said. "It was ultimately up to the three individuals and we're excited to be back racing next week.
"It was hard to sit at home (Tuesday night) and watch the dogs race at a different track (Casino).”
GRNSW said it had an ongoing commitment to animal welfare and safety and would continue to monitor racing at the Lismore track for any potential issues with track condition or design.
"I have full confidence in our track curator. He has been involved in the industry for more than 20 years,” Zorzo said.
"It's back to business for us now and we have the Lismore Lions Club and Lismore Workers swim team booked in for fundraiser nights in February.”
Greyhound Breeders, Owners and Trainers Association operations manager Ellen Harris confirmed last week the club had returned a high injury rate compared with other NSW tracks.
"Safety and welfare is a major focus for us and the governing body (Greyhound Racing NSW) had some concerns,” Harris said.
"We have confidence in the staff at Lismore.
"They've trained other staff in and out of our network.”