The Greens have called on the State Government to urgently commit to bringing SA in line with other states by restricting the temperatures that Greyhounds are forced to race in as heatwave continues to grip the state.
In December last year ten Greyhound races were run at Murray Bridge Greyhound Racing Club as local temperatures soared to 41.8°C. Research from the University of Adelaide has demonstrated that temperatures of 38oC and over put racing dogs at serious risk of heat-related organ failure and possibly death.
Greyhound Racing SA’s Hot Weather Policy implies that the Stewards only has discretion to call the race off if the weather is forecast to be above 40°C at 8:00am and does not consider the daily temperature prediction, or the predicted temperature at the time that the race will occur.
In Question Time today the Government stated that it has written to Greyhound Racing South Australia and requested that they review their hot weather policy.
Quotes attributable to Greens SA Animal Welfare spokesperson Tammy Franks MLC:
“The greyhound racing industry knows full well that when the internal temperature of racing dogs gets too high it can cause serious organ damage and death. Although Greyhound Racing SA claim that they will postpone races when the weather gets hot, we know that they are willing to use loopholes when it suits them to allow racing to continue. Given this, the Minister must do more than write letters — she must act.”
“The Government needs to listen to the RSPCA and introduce mandatory enforceable welfare standards for greyhound racing, including a capped temperature at which races must be cancelled. Climate change will deliver more hot weather events and reform is needed more urgently than ever.”
“The Malinauskas Government must show leadership on the welfare of these animals. Simply requesting that the industry review its policy is not enough when animals are dying.”