Animal welfare is Greyhound Racing Victoria’s overriding priority, and it is critical that all Greyhound Trainers familiarise themselves with GRV’s Hot Weather Policy, which is updated regularly.
Every year, somewhere in Australia, animals die from heatstroke.
As canines sweat only through the pads of their feet and the pores on the tip of their nose they rely on expelling excess body heat through evaporation of saliva via panting.
Evaporative cooling has some limitations, and it is possible for a greyhound’s temperature to rise very quickly, even in relatively low heat, if they are unable to pant effectively or the surrounding air becomes very humid.
Body temperatures quickly rise, initially leading to signs of heat stress, and if not resolved, heat stroke and even death.
If the surrounding air becomes very humid, a greyhound’s body temperature quickly rises, initially leading to signs of heat stress. If not resolved, this can lead to heat stroke and even death.
Kennel blocks at all Victorian greyhound racetracks are air conditioned, however not all transport vehicles and greyhound trailers are air-conditioned, so when travelling to meetings on hot days other strategies need to be employed to keep your greyhounds comfortable and to ensure that they arrive to the race track in the best condition possible.
The Hot Weather policy allows trainers to scratch their greyhounds without penalty if the predicted temperature is 32 degrees or above at the venue where the meeting is being conducted.
In the case of a predicted temperature at a racing venue being 40 degrees or more, GRV will attempt to transfer all DAY and TWILIGHT meetings scheduled for those venues to more suitable timeslots.
If it is not possible to facilitate such a transfer within a reasonable timeframe, then DAY and TWILIGHT meetings scheduled for those venues will be cancelled.
MORNING and NIGHT meetings on these days will continue as scheduled but may be called off, delayed, cancelled or abandoned at the discretion of the Steward in Charge, who will take into account advice from the On-Track Veterinarian.
GRV advises all owners and trainers to take extra care of their greyhounds during the hotter months – ensuring plenty of fresh cool water and shade is available at all times.
Extra care needs to be taken when transporting greyhounds during hot weather, and particular care needs to be provided to the most vulnerable animals – those that are older, young pups and pregnant animals.