Bord na gCon, the Irish Greyhound Board, has this week published details of Greyhound injury data for 2019.
Overall, 332 injuries occurred during the year with 119 greyhounds being put to sleep.
The percentage of greyhounds injured is 0.34% of the 98,552 greyhounds raced with 0.11% of these greyhounds being euthanised. The statistics continue the downward trend evident since 2015.
The injury data have reduced from the five-year high of 427 in 2016 despite the number of greyhounds raced increasing at 98,552 compared with 95,127 in 2015.
Denis Healy, Veterinary Director, with Bord na gCon stated "Bord na gCon has, in recent years, put a key focus on the highest standards of welfare for racing greyhounds at our tracks. Unfortunately injuries are inevitable in any sport that involves such speed and athleticism. Improvements in track maintenance and operating procedures has assisted us in being able to achieve an ongoing reduction of injuries each year. A qualified registered veterinary practitioner is present at each race event to make the appropriate decisions regarding the care and welfare of the greyhound.
"In addition, Bord na gCon launched a Greyhound Injury Support Scheme in August 2019 to provide financial assistance to owners of greyhounds so that the necessary medical care can be undertaken to help further reduce the number of greyhounds put to sleep as a result of serious injury. It is mandatory that all greyhounds treated under this Scheme are retired from racing and are kept as pets by the owner or become part of Bord na gCon’s rehoming scheme. Bord na gCon has also sought a statutory instrument to make it a legal requirement for the euthanasia of a greyhound to be only undertaken by a qualified veterinary practitioner."