Following a successful trial, GRNSW will be updating the Race Day Hydration and Hot Weather Policy.
From Monday 20 February 2017, greyhounds will be provided with water during race day kennelling at all clubs under the amended policy.
Following a recent trial of the amended policy at The Gardens track, there was positive feedback from trainers who have requested to continue being able to provide water for their greyhounds after the conclusion of the trial.
“I am a great supporter of this initiative,” Hunter Valley trainer James Porter, who eagerly took part in the trial, said. “Not only does it provide an option for a thirsty greyhound during summer but I have found that water in kennels helps with post-race recovery as well”
Thanks to willing participants, the data GRNSW obtained from the trial concluded that greyhounds with access to water in their kennel lost less weight pre-race than greyhounds without access to water. It was also concluded that greyhounds without access to water in later races generally lost more weight than those dogs involved in earlier races. The GRNSW results are supported by research conducted by Greyhound Racing Victoria and Professor Linda Blythe.
Under the changes to the policy, all clubs are responsible for providing a sealed bottle of water that is to be used by a greyhound during kennelling. The quantity of water provided by the club will need to be between 250ml and 500ml.
In addition, trainers and handlers are responsible for providing a water bowl for their greyhound/s. The water bowl supplied by the trainer/handler must be a 9 inch steel bowl with hook or attachment mechanism.
A transition period will be implemented at all tracks (TAB and Non-TAB) from Monday 16 January 2017 until Sunday 19 February 2017. Participation in this transition period is voluntary however GRNSW encourages trainers and handlers to embrace this change from the beginning of the transition period.
From 20 February 2017 a compliance framework will be in place enabling stewards to take action against participants who neglect to provide a 9 inch steel water bowl with hook for their greyhound/s during kennelling. This updated policy is in effect all year round, not just in the warmer months.
Greyhounds will be permitted to wear American muzzles during kennelling
Greyhounds not allowed access to water during kennel confinement suffer from dehydration which is a serious health and welfare concern. Dehydration is also a risk factor associated with hyperthermia, muscle cramping and acidosis (rhabdomyolysis).
The new Race Day Hydration and Hot Weather Policy was introduced to improve the welfare of greyhounds competing at race meetings further demonstrating the industry’s ongoing commitment to animal welfare. GRNSW has developed this policy to assist industry participants to ensure that greyhounds are properly cared for, especially in hot weather conditions.
Under the conditions of the Race Day Hydration and Hot Weather Policy, greyhounds will have to be provided with water during race day kennelling all year round (including in the cooler months of the year).
Each club and their raceday staff will also be provided with training on the requirements under the policy and how it is to be implemented.
GRNSW would again like to thank participants for taking part in this trial, and looking forward to working with participants and stakeholder to ensure a smooth implementation of this welfare initiative.