BY ISABEL EVERETT

The Gardens Greyhound Track has been promised a share of $5.2 million for upgrade works to meet new safety standards.

The new track design rules are being rolled out in the hopes of driving down injury and death rates in the sport, with the Birmingham Gardens course named the deadliest in NSW in 2019, with 250 injuries, and 8 deaths.

The design standards have been developed by Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) and the Greyhound Welfare and Integrity Commission, based on research by the University of Technology, Sydney.

The funds will be shared between the local track and one located in Gosford, to be upgraded over the next 3 years.

Minister for Better Regulation, Kevin Anderson says the tracks need to be safer for the dogs. 

“That includes on the bends, and the straights need to be of the right position, the starting boxes, and catching pens and so on.” 

Coalition for the Protection of Greyhounds’ President, Dennis Anderson, says he hopes to see big changes at the track.

“We would like to see the track be modified to meet the standards laid down by the University of Technology Sydney,” Mr Anderson says. 

“That is that the track should be straight, the number of dogs in the race should be reduced down from eight to six, and the lure should be repositioned from the inside rail to the centre of the track.”

He said it remains to be seen if the new industry track standards have adopted all of the recommendations by UTS, and codes approved by the Government last year allow dogs to be kept locked up in cages for 23 hours every day. 

31 greyhounds have reportedly been killed nation-wide while racing in 2021, 13 in NSW. 

An announcement on specific funding and a timeline for the local project is expected to be made in coming weeks.