One greyhound killed, 11 hurt in 'nightmare' race at Casino
Lismore greyhound track recorded the third equal number of greyhound deaths in NSW last year, and Casino the fourth, according to the Coalition for the Protection of Greyhounds (CPG).
In a new report - Lethal Tracks 2020: A report on track-related deaths and injuries, based on stewards' reports - the group states three greyhounds died at the track in Lismore in 2020, and two at Casino.
It also drew attention to the first recorded greyhound death of 2021 at the Casino track on Thursday.
The group called the race meeting "a nightmare" after one greyhound was killed, eleven were injured - five dogs were scratched before the meeting with injuries.
According to the stewards' report for Casino on February 11, in Race 1, Harvey John collided with another dog on a track turn and fell in an eight-dog race.
After the animal sustaining a fractured foreleg, he was euthanased by the on-track vet.
The group said 11 other greyhounds were injured during the race meeting, with injuries ranging from abrasions to major back muscle injuries.
CPG states the stewards' reports across all states reveal greyhounds were forced to run on unsafe tracks, in races with too many greyhounds (eight or seven instead of six as recommended by industry-funded research) and were killed despite having treatable injuries.
"Greyhounds run at high speed on curved tracks, in races with too many dogs, and frequently fall after colliding with other dogs," GPG national president, Dennis Anderson said.
"They are then euthanased with fractured legs that, in many cases, can be treated."
He also claimed the dogs were often raced too often.
In response, a spokesman from the Greyhound Welfare and Integrity Commission said measures put in place since it first began regulating greyhound racing in 2018, were having an impact.
Up until 2018, the spokesman said it was common to have a catastrophic injury rate of more than 1.0 per 1000 starts.
That rate, the spokesman said had dropped to a low of 0.5 per 1000 starts in the last two published reports halving from the 2018/2019 to 2019/2020 year.
The spokesman said the Race Injury Review Panel meets monthly to analyse the contributing factors for all serious and catastrophic injuries, making recommendations that focus on improving the safety and welfare of racing greyhounds.
"This data on risk factors for injuries is used to inform racetrack maintenance and preparation decisions, training practices and injury prevention strategies," he said.
"The RIRP has consistently found that the most common cause of catastrophic injuries is a racing incident, most commonly a collision resulting in a fall, which occurs at a turn."
He said dogs may be racing a higher number of races per week, but the number of 300m races had increased in contrast to the predominance of 500m-plus events they had seen in the past.
Greyhounds are not allowed to be raced on consecutive days in NSW.
The Commission's spokesman said it was "focused on working with Greyhound Racing NSW and the industry on reducing the rates and severity of racing injuries.
"The safety of racing greyhounds is paramount to GWIC whose job is to ensure that racing is as safe as it can be for canine athletes," he said.
"The Commission is committed to supporting evidence-based strategies to reduce
the incidence and frequency of racing injuries and improve the welfare of racing greyhounds