The death of greyhound at Beckley Park has prompted claims the state’s industry has a credibility problem.
Two-year old Zipping Vienna suffered a spinal fracture after a fall in Race 6 on Saturday, the second dog to die at the track this year.
Animal Justice Party (AJP) MP Georgie Purcell says the way the dog died is prevalent in Victoria’s greyhound race industry, unlike other states.
“There’ve been no other deaths by broken backs across the entire country, there has been three in Victoria so far this year,” she said.
“What’s very clear is that dogs in this state are being overworked and over raced and dogs are paying the ultimate price with their lives.”
Beckley Park has in the past been named as the state’s deadliest track for dogs, over 20 have died there since 2020, however Ms Purcell says Horsham and Shepparton now top the list.
She believes the actual number of dog deaths is likely higher though, accusing the industry of trying to obscure the true toll.
“This year, after more and more on track deaths are being exposed, the industry is doing all they can to hide deaths and take the dogs off track,” she claimed.
“We have the highest off-track rates in the entire country and when you add up all of our off track deaths and on tracks deaths, we are leading the country as the mostly deadly state here in Victoria.”
Geelong Greyhound Racing Club General Manager Ray Bartolo said the Saturday’s death was “both tragic and distressing” and would be formally reviewed by Greyhound Racing Victoria’s (GRV) integrity unit, but strongly rejected claims the club sought to avoid reporting on track deaths.
“GGRC does facilitate the transport of injured greyhounds to specialist veterinary centres as a service for industry participants, andGRV provides funding to the owner/trainer of any greyhound that suffers a serious injury during racing to ensure the greyhound has immediate access to emergency veterinary care,” he said.
“The purpose of this consultation, subject to the advice and professional opinion of the On-Track Veterinarian, is to obtain an accurate diagnosis of the injury/condition and prognosis particularly where it requires confirmation by diagnostic tests such as x-rays.”
Mr Bartolo challenged the AJP to substantiate claims the club had transported agreyhound that was subsequently euthanised for injuries sustained at the track.
“The death of any greyhound is a traumatic experience, and this suggestion from the Animal Justice Party is another example of their gutter politics,” he said.
Image: Stills from Race 6 at Beckley Park where a 2-year old greyhound fell and died from a spinal fracture (supplied).