Coalition for the Protection of Greyhounds calls for racing industry shakeup after dog euthanised at Capalaba track

ANIMAL rights activists have renewed calls for an overhaul of the racing industry after a dog was euthanised at a Capalaba race track earlier this month.

RACING: A dog was euthanised at Capalaba Greyhound Racing Club on January 19.

RACING: A dog was euthanised at Capalaba Greyhound Racing Club on January 19.

Greyhound Steamy Night fractured his offside hock, a bone in the right leg, after colliding awkwardly with another dog at the end of race six on Sunday, January 19.

According to the Queensland Racing and Integrity Commission, a veterinarian looked at the dog and recommended it be euthanised.

Coalition for the Protection of Greyhounds president Dennis Anderson said greyhounds were still dying despite the Racing Queensland rebate scheme, which was designed to stop dogs from being euthanised after suffering a career ending injury.

Owners can apply for funding up to $2000 to cover vet bills if their dog suffers an injury to their bones or joints while racing.

"As a straight track, Capalaba is supposedly safer than the typical curved track where most deaths occur," Mr Anderson said.

"However, the death of Steamy Night shows that no track is safe and that's why banning the greyhound industry is the ultimate goal of CPG."

Queensland Racing Integrity Commissioner Ross Barnett said just one of the 4726 greyhounds that ran at Capalaba last year had been put down.

The commission worked with all clubs to manage race day injuries and ensure a veterinarian supervised every race.

"The Queensland Racing Integrity Commission considers the care and welfare of racing animals as of paramount importance" Mr Barnett said.

"The commission's on-track veterinarians examine injured greyhounds and make an assessment with the welfare of the greyhound as number one priority.

"Prior to each race meeting, QRIC Stewards inspect the track, check each individual race day bay and kennel confirming that the track surface and kennels are safe for the greyhounds on race day."

Mr Barnett said the commission also worked with Racing Queensland, the industry's state commercial body, to minimise the risk of injury.

Mr Anderson said racing supporters jumped to the defence of the industry by arguing that injuries were inevitable in any sport.

"We don't kill footballers when they break an ankle, yet that's what they do to greyhounds," he said.

"Also, these dogs don't choose to be professional athletes or get to bank their winnings. When no longer wanted, they mostly disappear or turn up in graves, yet can make great pets."

Among the CPG's requests for an industry overhaul is reducing the number of runners in a race from eight to six to prevent injuries.

A Racing Queensland spokesman said they were continually exploring and adopting new strategies to reduce injury rates at licensed clubs.

"This includes increased vigilance of injury analysis, the development of track curator conferencing and standardisation across track maintenance, preparation methodology and equipment," he said.

"At present, less than three per cent of starters across all Queensland greyhound tracks incur injury, with the vast majority of those able to return to racing inside a fortnight."

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