An anti-greyhound racing group says the “unnecessary” deaths of greyhounds will continue while the South Australian government waits to appoint an independent commissioner for the sport.

It comes after two greyhounds died in 10 days at the Mount Gambier race track in the state’s south-east.

Stewards’ reports show a 19-month-old greyhound named Menari One was in its second race on Sunday when the dog suffered a fracture to its hind legs and was euthanased.

On April 11, another greyhound at Mount Gambier, named Marty’s Delight, was also in its second-ever race when it sustained the same injury and was put down. 

The Coalition for the Protection of Greyhounds said 37 animals have died in on-track incidents this year in Australia, including 11 in April so far. 

SA state director Elle Trahair said greyhound deaths were still occurring despite the industry’s promises to reform. 

“The rate of the injury and deaths in the greyhound racing industry are common and what you’re seeing now [at Mount Gambier] is in line with the statistics,” she said.

Coalition for the Protection of Greyhounds SA director Elle Trahair.(ABC News)

‘Industry on a ticking timeline’, says animal safety advocate

An inquiry into the sport in SA last year made a number of recommendations to improve animal safety in the industry with the changes to be implemented within two years or the sport faced being banned. 

It also recommended the state government appoint an independent inspector for greyhound racing reform to oversee the changes, but the position is not yet filled despite a deadline of Easter this year. 

Ms Trahair said oversight of the industry would be insufficient while the position remained vacant.

An independent inquiry into greyhound racing in SA found there was an “urgent need” for the industry to reform.(Pixabay: herbert2512)

“The industry is on a ticking timeline, it needs to be seriously looked at and I think the state government’s tardiness in appointing an inspector is sending a pretty strong message that it’s not really a priority for them,” she said. 

“They need to step it up and appoint an inspector as soon as possible because this issue isn’t going away by burying our head in the sand and hoping it does.” 

A government spokesperson said, “The process for appointing a Greyhound Industry Reform Inspector is well advanced and the government will make an announcement in due course”.

Greyhound Racing SA has established a working group to implement the recommendations set out in the independent review.(ABC News)

Incidents ‘declining’: GRSA  

Greyhound Racing SA (GRSA) recorded the deaths of both animals at Mount Gambier in its stewards’ reports, but vision of Menari One’s death has been removed from its website. 

Ms Trahair said it showed the industry lacked transparency and proved deaths of greyhounds did not “meet community expectations”. 

GRSA said it took all instances of serious injury and humane euthanasia seriously and reviewed each case. 

“These incidents are becoming increasingly rare due to industry-led initiatives such as track and race safety upgrades, veterinary surgeon attendance at all race meetings, and the Track Injury Rebate Scheme, which ensures rehabilitation of injury wherever possible,” it said.

“The vast majority of injuries incurred on SA greyhound tracks are minor with the greyhounds able to return to racing within 10 days.”

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