The welfare of racing greyhounds - a hot topic in Victoria

Media release date: 
Friday, 13 October 2017

Leading greyhound veterinarians are coming together in Fitzroy this weekend to discuss ways of improving welfare standards in the greyhound racing industry in Australia.

President of the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) Dr Paula Parker said that a key focus of this weekend’s Australian Greyhound Veterinarians Conference is the work that’s been done in Victoria to improve track safety for greyhounds, reduce injuries and care for these dogs past their racing life.

“Focused education events like this are critical in sharing ideas and learnings that will ultimately improve the welfare of racing greyhounds from birth to retirement right across the nation.

“The AVA has actively advocated for better health and welfare standards in the greyhound racing industry in Australia.

“In June this year, we provided a submission to the Victorian Government on the draft Code of Practice for the Keeping of Racing Greyhounds, which aims to improve the welfare of racing greyhounds throughout all stages of their life. The AVA endorsed the draft and identified amendments to further improve health and welfare standards of racing greyhounds in Victoria, such as including dental examinations and vaccinations as part of mandatory annual health checks for each greyhound,” Dr Parker said.

The AVA says that the welfare of all greyhounds must be ensured where greyhound breeding, rearing, training and racing occurs. To protect the health and welfare of racing dogs, it’s essential that veterinarians are involved in all aspects of the greyhound racing industry. Furthermore, to ensure welfare standards of greyhounds are maintained before, during and after their racing careers, an accurate and reliable national database capable of tracking the entire life cycle of each greyhound must also be maintained.

“Through education events like this, veterinarians who specialise in the health and welfare of greyhounds are able to gather and share in the latest scientific evidence to help them drive positive welfare changes,” Dr Parker said.

The conference program includes an in-depth look at the redesign of the Horsham race track to reduce racing injuries as well as rehabilitation principles for athletic dogs and programs for specific injuries.

The Conference is being held at the Metropole Hotel in Fitzroy, 13-14 October.

For further information and requests for interviews contact the AVA media office on (02) 9431 5062, 0439 628 898 or

The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) is the only national association representing veterinarians in Australia. Founded in 1921, the AVA today represents 9000 members working in all areas of animal science, health and welfare.

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