THE Tamworth greyhound track has been shut indefinitely after a dog was put down at a recent meet.
Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) has suspended all racing and trialling at the track with an independent safety assessment to be undertaken.
Tamworth Greyhound Racing Club president Robert Munn believed the incident was isolated.
He said some had blamed the track but he said there were other factors.
“If there’s a serious car accident, the driver, the vehicle, the road conditions are all investigated,” he said.
In December last year, a $70,000 upgrade of the course was carried out which included new turf for about 280 metres of the track, a new camber – the slope applied to the surface – around the top corner of the track which was also widened by a metre.
The president said work had also been done on at the winning post and the catching area and the recent issue occurred in a completely different part of the track.
According to Mr Munn, he said the dog “cramped-up” and rolled a number of times during the race.
The next meeting at the Tamworth was scheduled for Saturday, December 8 and Mr Munn said it was unlikely the track would be reopened in time.
“The club will miss out, but it’s the owners and trainers who really miss out,” he said.
In a statement posted online, GRNSW said activity at the track had been suspended “pending the completion of an independent assessment of track safety”.
“This announcement follows recent interim remediation works completed at the track in early November 2018,” it said.
“GRNSW regrets any inconvenience caused to participants as a result of the track closure, but greyhound welfare and safety remains GRNSW’s key priority.
“GRNSW will provide a further update as soon as new information becomes available.”
The Armidale track is currently closed too due to “remediation” works and its November 24 meet will need to be relocated.
A spokesperson for the Greyhound Welfare and Integrity Commission confirmed a vet made the decisions to put down a dog at the November 17 meet following a “catastrophic injury”.
The vet believed the dog could not recover from the injury it suffered, after a thorough assessment.
“A veterinarian was present at the track, as is standard procedure for all greyhound races, to examine and monitor all greyhounds prior, during and after every race,” the spokesperson said.
“Under NSW legislation GRNSW is responsible for the conduct of greyhound race meetings and developing safety standards for race courses.
“The Commission fully supports GRNSW’s decision to suspend racing pending the upcoming independent safety assessment.”
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