Injuries are very common in greyhound racing causing intense pain, suffering and distress. Serious bone fractures of the leg are the most common injury. Some fractures are communited which is a high velocity injury more commonly associated with car accidents or being shot. Muscle injuries are also very common.
Greyhounds are put under intense pressure when racing and this physical over-exertion causes seizures due to a lack of oxygen, heat-related stress and the collapse of greyhounds post-race. Serious injuries can lead to greyhounds dying on the track or being put to death at the end of the race.
Between 1 January 2020 and 1 November 2020, 172 greyhounds had been killed on Australian tracks. The majority of these greyhounds fractured a leg during the race which is often a highly treatable injury. Despite the state Rebate Schemes, none of these greyhounds were considered worth the estimated $4,000 to repair their injury.
Based on racing industry Stewards Reports, CPG estimates that 7955 greyhounds suffered injuries between 1 January 2020 and 1 November 2020. Additionally, the RSPCA reports that “additional injuries will occur during pre-training, training, trialling and non-TAB races, however these statistics are generally not published. It is important to note that injuries may be detected post-race day and these injuries may not be formally recorded.”
On-track injuries and deaths have not changed significantly over the past five years and in some cases there has been an increase. For example, the NSW Greyhound Welfare and Integrity Commission reported that Q4 2019 had the highest racing injury rate of any quarter since injury reporting began in 2016. It eclipsed the previous record set in Q1 2019.
- NSW Greyhound Welfare and Integrity Commission: Analysis of Greyhound Racing Injuries, 1 October 2019 – 31 December 2019
- RSPCA Knowledge Base: What are the animal welfare issues with greyhound racing