The Greens have called on the State Government to immediately ban greyhound racing in temperatures over 38°C following the tragic death of a young greyhound at the Gawler racetrack yesterday. According to the Steward’s report, three-year old Weblac Gem collapsed and died immediately after running her race. The on-track vet attributed her death to internal bleeding within the abdominal cavity.
Earlier this week the Coalition for the Protection of Greyhounds (CPG) and RSPCA SA warned that the heatwave would cause heat stress and expose racing dogs to serious risk of organ failure.
CPG’s State Director, Ms Elle Trahair, says the death of Weblec Gem is another example of the failures of the self-regulated industry, actively putting profits before animal welfare.
This is the second dog to have died on South Australian racetracks this year.
Quotes attributable to Greens SA Animal Welfare spokesperson Tammy Franks MLC:
“The risk of heat stress is dramatically increased when the air temperature is high. Repeated exposure to high temperatures can predispose greyhounds to organ damage, reduced exercise tolerance and respiratory problems.”
“Research clearly shows that racing must stop at 38° Celsius and that larger, dark-coloured dogs are particularly at risk. This is extremely dangerous for the dogs, who are already being pushed to race at speeds of up to 65 km/h.”
“The Malinauskas Government must show leadership on the welfare of these animals and take steps to ban greyhound racing in hot weather immediately.”