FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
29 February 2016
Mystery Deaths of 12 Healthy Greyhounds in Steward Reports – TAS
An independent analysis of the Office of Racing Integrity’s stewards’ reports from 1 Oct 2015 – 31 Jan 2016 has found that 12 greyhounds were scratched from races because they were ‘deceased’.
Most of the dogs were aged between two to three years old, with the youngest being a mere 22 months old.
All had raced a few days prior to being scratched. Although no injuries or illness were reported in the stewards reports for their final races, they appear listed as deceased in stewards reports for subsequent race meets.
“Young and presumably healthy greyhounds are turning up dead in stewards reports and nobody knows why,” said Dr. Eleonora Gullone, founder of the Coalition for the Protection of Greyhounds group, which conducted the analysis.
“Two of the dogs were siblings who raced in Launceston on 7 Dec 2015, where they reportedly ‘failed to pursue the lure’. A post-race vet check revealed they were not injured.
“Five days later, both dogs were reported as scratched for races at the North West Greyhound Racing Club because they were no longer alive. No cause of death was given.
“These greyhounds were not even two years old yet. How do they go from being seemingly healthy and uninjured, to dead after less than a week?”
An online search revealed that all 12 dogs were recorded as ‘retired’ instead of ‘deceased’ on the publicly available greyhound database Fasttrack.
“This vagueness and inaccuracy of the greyhound racing stewards reports does not inspire confidence in the industry’s integrity,” said Dr. Gullone. “There needs to be more comprehensive reporting and transparency if the industry is serious about trying to change the public’s perception that it should be shut down.
“The greyhound racing industry must introduce mandatory cradle-to-grave reporting for the dogs it breeds, so that every greyhound’s welfare can be tracked throughout his or her life.”
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