The provision of optimum veterinary services to the greyhound racing industry
Ratification Date: 14 Jun 2019
Veterinarians involved in the greyhound racing industry should be members of the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) and Australian Greyhound Working and Sporting Dog Veterinarians (AGWSDV), and should abide by the AVA Code of Professional Conduct. They should follow the guidelines set out below.
Veterinarians have the following roles in the greyhound racing industry:
- to ensure the welfare of the greyhounds
- to provide skilled veterinary service to the racing greyhound
- to assist racing officials to maintain the integrity of the industry by providing advice on all veterinary aspects of greyhound racing
- to conduct research into, and to advise on, veterinary matters affecting the greyhound racing industry.
In addition to racecourse duties, veterinarians who are full-time employees in the greyhound racing industry might become involved in:
- closer liaison with local veterinarians servicing greyhound racing
- providing professional advice at racing conferences and seminars
- research into drug administration and detection and matters affecting the welfare of racing dogs.
Organisation of veterinary services
- At least one veterinarian must attend all race meetings.
- Veterinarians officiating at race meetings (On Track Veterinarians or OTVs) should have had reasonable clinical experience in small animal practice, canine sports medicine practice or greyhound practice.
- The veterinarian should be a member of the Australian Greyhound Working and Sporting Dog Veterinarians and be familiar with the AGWSDV’s OTV Protocol document, the state jurisdiction’s OTV protocols as well the national and state rules of racing.
- All bodies that control greyhound racing or are involved in regulation of greyhound racing are encouraged to employ full-time veterinarians who would be available to consult with stewards, committees and authorities on all veterinary matters.
- All veterinarians employed at race meetings should be paid at rates in line with the scope and nature of their duties.
- No veterinarian should work in an honorary capacity at a race meeting. If a veterinarian feels that a club or organisation should be financially assisted, then they could make an appropriate donation.
- As committee members are normally precluded by the constitutions of the clubs from holding positions of profit, a veterinarian who is a member of a race club committee should not officiate at meetings of that club, unless no other veterinarian is available.
- Nothing in the above paragraphs should prevent the appointment of honorary consulting veterinarians to race clubs. These veterinarians would not normally be involved in the day-to-day activities of race meetings, but rather serve as consultants to the race clubs in broad matters of veterinary policy.
Where racing is controlled by a government body, that body should employ a full-time veterinarian to provide effective liaison between that body and the veterinary profession.
A veterinarian employed full-time by a controlling body should not be entitled to engage in clinical practice with the greyhounds, trainers and owners registered with that controlling body.
Where racing is controlled by an elected committee of a club, the club may appoint an OTV, but the appointment must have approval of the controlling body.
Controlling bodies should be encouraged to support research on two levels:
- on a national basis, which would be achieved by liaising with veterinarians involved in the greyhound racing industry, the AVA/AGWSDV, industry groups and universities or other research organisations
- on a local basis by using or supporting veterinarians employed in or involved in the greyhound racing industry.
Code of Conduct for veterinarians involved in the greyhound racing industry
Veterinarians involved in the greyhound racing industry:
- should be aware of and comply with the national and state rules of greyhound racing
- should cooperate with any reasonable requests by state jurisdiction integrity or welfare officers to attend any inquiry and furnish any relevant records (provided there is no breach of client–patient confidentiality)
- should ensure that their conduct is not regarded as prejudicial to the image, interests or welfare of greyhound racing or the veterinary profession
- must avoid making media statements that are not based on accepted veterinary principles
- must not make or appear to make statements on behalf of the greyhound racing industry or the veterinary profession, unless authorised to do so by the industry or profession
- must abide by relevant federal and state legislation in relation to the supply and dispensing of medications and ensure that drugs dispensed are approved by relevant authorities and are correctly labelled
- should keep detailed, professional, objective and timely clinical records of all examinations, advice and treatments
- should proactively identify, avoid, manage and declare any conflicts of interest
- should feel free to refuse to officiate at any meeting where facilities are deemed unsafe for racing.
Other relevant policies and position statements
To advocate for appropriate standards of veterinary care and oversight of greyhounds used in racing