GRV’s paramount responsibility is the health, safety and welfare of all Victorian participants and their greyhounds and of our clubs and our staff. However, we also recognise that greyhound racing provides jobs, income and markets for thousands of people and many businesses across the State.
And that for many people at home, it’s also an important source of entertainment.
Therefore GRV, Greyhound Clubs Victoria and our clubs have introduced a number of health protocols on track.
The changes not only protect our participants and staff but show the broader community that greyhound racing is diligently following the Chief Health Officer’s advice.
Each club is adhering to strict COVID-19 protocols, which includes attendance restrictions, temperature checking prior to entry, room limits and other measures to ensure all hygiene and social distancing restrictions are met by the participants and essential staff.
Isolation and quarantine protocols are in place, including for front facing staff, such as Vets and Stewards and we will continue this indefinitely. This includes providing additional lure covers and disinfecting equipment that has been contacted by greyhounds.
And there will be further protocols introduced so we can keep racing.
I urge everyone to follow the protocols both on the track and off to give us the best opportunity to continue racing while ensuring our sport complies with our health and safety obligations designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Please monitor your own health and if you don’t feel well please don’t come to the track.
Beyond this, GRV is consulting with all the clubs, Greyhound Clubs Victoria, the Office of Racing and other key stakeholders on a daily basis as more information and medical advice is received. We are also working with other state jurisdictions and racing codes to share advice and information about managing race meetings and other operations.
All GRV staff are now working remotely where possible so I ask that if you need to contact us, please email: [email protected] or call: (03) 8329 1100 and not to visit our head office. GRV will keep you updated on all developments as they happen through our website, FastTrack, weekly newsletter, social media and emails as appropriate.
In other news, it’s been estimated that canine gastroenteritis has currently impacted about 40 properties, mostly larger kennels, and is geographically dispersed across the State. We have an internal working group and a dedicated participant helpline and email address to help industry participants to get information and advice directly from experts. More information about this is available at: greyhoundcare.grv.org.au/ccv
We believe the gastro outbreak will soon be over as we continue racing our healthy population with revised programs and race cards while following guidelines and restrictions for both canine gastroenteritis and Coronavirus.
It’s important to note here that Victoria has experienced canine gastroenteritis outbreaks before and will probably do so again in the future, but we do have robust and effective protocols in place to manage these outbreaks. Recently advertised race meetings are fully subscribed.
Victoria’s greyhound racing community does have a long and strong history of working together to help each other and others out when needed and this has been reflected in both the recent ‘Go The Red Dog’ fundraiser and the Royal Children’s Hospital’s appeal.
Over January and February, ‘Go The Red Dog’ raised more than $100,000 for bushfire support and the GRV team of Peita Duncan, Greg Miller, National Adoption Day Ambassador Todd McKenney and myself, raised more than $18,000 on Neil’s Wheel for the Royal Children’s Hospital. I thank everyone who supported these very worthy initiatives.
Finally, I know these are very challenging and stressful times for all of us and I remind you that GRV has a free and confidential 24-hour Greyhound Participant Support program to help with your mental, physical and financial wellbeing if needed, and you can find out more at: greyhoundcare.grv.org.au/greyhound-participant-support.
I thank you for your patience, support and co-operation as we work our way through the challenges of COVID-19 as a united sport and get the very best outcome we can for our greyhound family.