The greyhound industry in NSW will have the highest standards of welfare and integrity in Australia, if not the world, following the announcement of a new whole-of-life e-tracking system.
That's the assessment from the Greyhound Welfare and Integrity (GWIC) CEO Steve Griffin with the launch of the world-first system which will help monitor the location and welfare of all greyhounds registered in NSW.
The new e-Tracking system will enable GWIC to monitor and record the whereabouts of every greyhound registered in NSW, in real time, at any stage of its life.
Greyhounds will be tracked through their contact with GWIC. If a greyhound has had no contact with GWIC in the required period - at least every six months for racing greyhounds and every 12 months for pre-racing and retired greyhounds - a request to have the greyhound sighted and scanned will be sent to the greyhound's custodian.
"Just over a year ago the Perrottet government kindly allocated $3.6 million to allow the greyhound industry to digitise itself, and that enables the industry to really lift the standard, to have the highest standards of welfare and integrity in Australia, if not Australia, the world," Griffin said.
"We will be able to account for every racing greyhound annually, which is a fantastic thing. I would also go a step further than that. We will be able to have a complete health record of that greyhound throughout its life. We will be able to know it's been looked after, it's had all its vet treatments, and also record all the injuries a greyhound has had during its career, and provide us with that rich data so we can look at ways we can reduce racing injures that occur in the sport.
"We have tracked over 4,000 greyhounds already, so the system is working well. Racing greyhounds will need to have contact with GWIC at least every six months, and pre-racing or retired greyhounds every 12 months. There will be more than 40 locations across the state where greyhounds can be scanned and checked in. Many of these touch points are greyhound racing clubs, major breeder, trainer or educator properties, and industry veterinarians and rehoming organisations. Staff will also be able to scan dogs at the track or during kennel inspections to make the process easy for participants."
Racing minister Kevin Anderson launched the new technology in Wauchope, and added that the system will also enable the industry to protect its reputation from inaccurate external criticism.
"The e-Tracking capability will make a huge difference in protecting the welfare of greyhounds registered in NSW and put an end to speculation that animals have disappeared," he said.
Greyhound Racing NSW CEO Tony Mestrov welcomed the announcement, describing it as "a significant milestone," Mestrov said.
"As a collective industry, we have taken major steps in reform since 2017, and welfare is now at the forefront of everything we do at GRNSW, as evidenced by our rehoming programs, injury rebate schemes, track safety upgrades, and the overall care of our animals.
"The e-Tracking system is another great step in not only ensuring the welfare of all greyhounds in the NSW industry, but also addressing the misinformation and falsehoods that are routinely promoted by organisations that wish to do the industry harm by false reporting."
This article was produced as part of an ACM partnership with Greyhound Racing NSW.
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