RSPCA Tasmania is calling on the Tasmanian Government to make it mandatory that a veterinarian is present at all greyhound race meetings.
Following the death of greyhound Tah Bernard, an investigation was conducted by the Office of Racing Integrity (ORI) in which the Director of Racing made two recommendations.
Firstly, that there must be a veterinary surgeon present at all race meetings and official club trial events.
Secondly, that Tasracing and the ORI review all local rules, animal welfare guidelines, and associated documents related to euthanasia and treatment of injuries to ensure that they are clear, concise and non-contradictory – and that they clearly identify the roles and responsibilities of participants.
RSPCA Tasmania believes that requiring a vet to be present at every event is a basic animal welfare consideration and is long overdue, but also acknowledged the difficulty in finding veterinarians willing to undertake the work.
“Finding enough vets to deliver on this recommendation may be challenging – but this should not be an excuse for any reluctance to implement the report findings. Reviewing racing rules and guidelines relating to animal welfare is also imperative to ensure animals are given the best possible chance at finishing races safely and that fewer are subject to grievous harm at the track,” RSPCA Tasmania said in a statement.
The organisation said it was an opportunity for new Madeleine Ogilvie, the state’s new Minister for Racing, to address the shortcomings and to demonstrate that the government understands the community concerns.