Another racing greyhound, Slim Pickings, has died at Casino. This is the third racing greyhound death in the Northern Rivers so far this year, and the second in Casino, putting a renewed spotlight on greyhound welfare.
According to the Casino stewards’ report for 29 March 2021, in Race 9 Slim Pickings collided heavily with other dogs after the race start and broke down, failing to finish. Sustaining a fractured ankle, he was euthanaised by the on-track vet.
At the same race meeting, another greyhound suffered a bone injury, while eight greyhounds were scratched due to injury prior to racing. A trainer was reprimanded after using a mobile phone.
Across NSW, greyhound deaths have risen almost 50 per cent compared to the same period last year, despite NSW racing minister Kevin Anderson’s recent claim that the state has Australia’s highest standards of greyhound welfare.
22 greyhounds have now died on NSW racetracks in 2021. For the same period last year, 15 greyhounds had died racing. 48 were killed by the end of 2020.
Nationwide, 46 greyhounds have now died on racetracks this year, according to publicly available stewards reports.
At Casino this year, in only 17 race meetings, 67 greyhound injuries have been recorded at the track, the third highest in NSW. 122 injuries were recorded in Casino for the whole of 2020.
Harvey John was euthanased at Casino on 11 February. With two deaths, Casino has already equalled the total number killed at the track in 2020.
Last year, six racing greyhounds died on the tracks in Lismore, Casino and Grafton.
Coalition for the Protection of Greyhounds (CPG) research has found that regional racetracks were responsible for more than three-quarters of all racing greyhound deaths across Australia in 2020.
Hollow words from industry?
Dennis Anderson, National President of CPG, said the loss of Slim Pickings highlighted the alarming rise in greyhound racing deaths this year.
‘A 46 per cent increase in racing deaths is shocking and shows the NSW racing minister is prioritising gambling profits over animal welfare,’ said Mr Anderson.
‘The minister and the racing industry talk the talk but their words are hollow. The number of greyhounds dying and being injured shows an industry with a callous disregard for the suffering of dogs.
‘Millions of taxpayer dollars are pouring into NSW racetracks but the money is going into the wrong areas,’ he said.
‘The industry is ignoring what its own research recommended in 2017, that straight tracks and six-dog races would better protect greyhound lives,’ said Mr Anderson.
‘Also, the minister hasn’t released minimum track standards, and announced an inadequate e-tracking system. Plus, a proposed new track at Tweed will only see more greyhounds dying.
‘The only way to stop the suffering of these beautiful dogs is to ban greyhound racing,’ said Dennis Anderson.
Of the 46 greyhounds killed so far on Australian racetracks in 2021:
- 48% have been in NSW
- 75% were fatally injured at track turns
- 91% sustained leg fractures
- 64% were fatally injured by falling
You can find out more about the Coalition for the Protection of Greyhounds at their website and on Facebook.