RSPCA saddened by death of another Tasmanian greyhound

Card Talk became the first greyhound to die in 2021 in Tasmania following last week’s race program at Launceston.

According to the onsite Stewards’ Report, Card Talk was one of three dogs involved in a collision on the first turn in the race. Card Talk underwent a post-race veterinary examination which revealed the greyhound to have fractured right front leg and elbow. The damage was considered catastrophic, and the dog was subsequently euthanised.

This distressing and unnecessary death has once again highlighted the inherent animal welfare issues involved with greyhound racing.

RSPCA CEO, Jan Davis, said “We are deeply saddened to hear of the death of yet another Tasmanian greyhound.”

“The frequency of catastrophic injury in greyhound races is of grave concern to the RSPCA – and to all Tasmanians who care for animals. Last year, twelve Tasmanian greyhounds died in track related-deaths, with seven of these deaths occurring at Launceston.”” Ms Davis said.

“It’s been a shocking start to the year for greyhounds on Australian tracks. There have already been 18 deaths and more than 1,000 injuries. On average, at least twenty greyhounds are injured every week on Australian racecourses, so the sad fact is that this death was a tragic but hardly unforeseeable outcome.”

Ms Davis said practices must be changed to minimise the risks of this happening again.

“The death of Card Talk highlights the problems inherent in greyhound racing: curved tracks, races with too many dogs, and greyhounds with broken legs being euthanised at the track,”.

“Industry-funded research in 2017 recommended straight tracks and six-dog races, yet greyhounds keep losing their lives on curved tracks in races with too many dogs.”

The RSPCA has made a number of other recommendations with respect to measures it believes will reduce the number of deaths and injuries of racing greyhounds, including implementing whole of life tracking to prevent greyhounds disappearing, increased oversight of rescue and adoption programs, and reduced breeding.

“This very unfortunate incident highlights the need for the industry to work together with the RSPCA and other stakeholders to achieve better welfare outcomes for animals used in sport,” Ms Davis said.

“The Tasmanian community expects the racing industry to take every step to make dog racing safer for the participants; and these processes must be public, transparent and timely.”

“However, the only sure way to end greyhound suffering is to ban greyhound racing,” Ms Davis said.

Jan Davis, CEO – RSPCA Tasmania
Mobile: 0409 004 228