The Greyhound Recovery Initiative (“GRI”) is a Greyhound Racing Victoria (GRV) voluntary program to provide funding towards the off-track veterinary diagnosis, treatment and recovery of a greyhound that is suspected or confirmed to be suffering from a ‘GRI-eligible’ injury or medical condition sustained during a Victorian race meeting (including post-race or qualifying trials) or a Victorian coursing meeting that is attended by a GRV On-Track Veterinarian (OTV). Unless approved by GRV, the greyhound must be admitted into the program prior to the greyhound leaving the racetrack on the day of the incident.
A GRI-eligible injury or medical condition is defined as:
- any bone fracture except the fracture of a single metacarpal or metatarsal, toe (phalangeal and/or sesamoid) fracture(s) or tail fracture(s); or
- any joint dislocation above and including the wrist or hock so does not include a metacarpal-phalangeal or metatarsal-phalangeal dislocation, a toe dislocation or a tail dislocation; or
- a complete Achilles tendon rupture; or
- any other injury or medical condition where on-track euthanasia may otherwise be considered appropriate in accordance with GRV’s On-Track Euthanasia Guidelines.
When a greyhound is injured, the OTV must stabilise the injury/condition and administer appropriate pain relief at the track and may require that the greyhound receives overnight veterinary care at an emergency veterinary clinic (funded by the program).
The participant in charge of the greyhound (who may be the owner or trainer) must arrange to transport the greyhound to an off-track veterinarian of their choice for an initial off-track veterinary diagnostic consultation. However, to be eligible for funding, the off-track veterinarian must be registered to practise in Victoria and must operate in Victoria (unless approved by GRV).
Funding veterinary costs
Funding of veterinary costs is available in two stages up to a maximum of $2,000 including GST (the “capped amount”) by way of reimbursement of the participant and/or payment directly to the veterinarian(s):
- Stage 1 (initial off-track veterinary diagnostic consultation) in all cases; and
- Stage 2 (treatment costs) only if the injury/condition is confirmed as GRI-eligible.
Initial off-track veterinary diagnostic consultation: The purpose of this consultation is to obtain an accurate diagnosis of the injury/condition, particularly where it requires confirmation by diagnostic tests which may include x-rays. There are two possible outcomes:
- The injury/condition is not GRI-eligible: GRV will only fund the costs of the initial veterinary diagnostic consultation (including immediate treatment, such as pain relief and/or stabilisation necessary to ensure the welfare of the greyhound during this stage) up to the point of reaching a diagnosis (stage 1 funding), but will not fund any subsequent treatment costs.
- The injury/condition is confirmed to be GRI-eligible: GRV will fund the costs for the initial off-track veterinary diagnostic consultation (stage 1 costs as above) plus all reasonable veterinary costs for the subsequent treatment (stage 2 costs), up to the “capped amount” (total including stage 1 and stage 2).
- Where the prospects of recovery with an acceptable welfare outcome are poor, such that euthanasia is in the best interests of the greyhound, GRV will fund the cost of euthanasia as a stage 2 cost.
- Where the total costs exceed the capped amount, GRV will only fund the capped amount.
- If the greyhound recovers sufficiently to return to racing, GRV must be reimbursed for the stage 2 costs (i.e. excluding the initial veterinary consultation) prior to the greyhound’s first nomination.
The participant in charge of the greyhound must arrange appropriate care and rehabilitation for the greyhound while it recovers.
In addition to the $2,000 available for veterinary costs (for greyhounds admitted to the program from 1 December 2020) the participant in charge of the greyhound may be entitled to apply for a Rehabilitation Grant of $50 per week (up to a maximum of $500), to help with the cost of caring for the greyhound during recovery.
To be eligible for the Rehabilitation Grant:
- the greyhound must have a confirmed GRI-eligible injury/condition (i.e. be eligible for stage 2 funding); and
- GRV must have received completed part B of the GRI Admission Form (showing the estimated period of rehabilitation), part C of the GRI Admission Form, clinical notes and copies of x-rays; and
- GRV must have received invoice(s) directly from the veterinarian, or a request for reimbursement of veterinary invoices, to show the participant’s acceptance of GRI veterinary funding.
Any Rehabilitation Grant Payment will be made directly to the participant on application and can be used in any manner as described in the GRI Rehabilitation Grant and Reimbursement Terms and Conditions on part C of the GRI Admission Form, including payment of veterinary costs if they are over the capped amount.
If the greyhound recovers sufficiently to return to racing, GRV must be reimbursed for any Rehabilitation Grant Payment prior to the greyhound’s first nomination.
The participant remains responsible for re-homing the greyhound if it is not kept as a pet or for breeding purposes. Any greyhound admitted into the GRI will be granted priority access to a standard GAP Pre-entry Assessment once sufficiently recovered, if requested by the participant. As per normal practice however, the greyhound must be in sound health (i.e. must not be lame) to be assessed and must pass this assessment to be accepted into GAP.
- The OTV must complete Part A of the GRI Admission Form in consultation with a GRV Steward at the track and email it to GRV at [email protected] with the OTV ‘Veterinary Examination Details’ form.
- The participant in charge of the greyhound must take parts A, B and C of the GRI Admission Form, as well as the OTV ‘Veterinary Examination Details’ form, to the off-track veterinarian for the initial veterinary diagnostic consultation and any subsequent treatment.
- Once the off-track veterinarian has treated the greyhound, they must complete Part B of the GRI Admission Form and return it to GRV, within 14 days, accompanied by relevant clinical notes and x-rays. Invoices should be sent to GRV as soon as practical to apply for direct payment of veterinary invoices, noting veterinary invoices for follow-up consultation and treatment can continue to be sent to GRV up to the capped amount of $2,000 (including GST) for that greyhound. GRV reserves the right to refuse payment if paperwork is not returned within 14 days and invoices are not sent within 42 days.
- Where participants are seeking reimbursement of veterinary invoices that they have already paid to the veterinarian, they must provide a copy of the invoice(s) and receipt(s) plus completed parts B and C of the GRI Admission Form to GRV.
- Where participants are applying for the GRI Rehabilitation Grant, they must provide the completed parts B and C of the GRI Admission Form to GRV. To be eligible, GRV must also have received invoice(s) directly from the veterinarian, or a request for reimbursement of veterinary invoices already paid by the participant (to show the participant’s acceptance of GRI veterinary funding).
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