Great care and vigilance must be taken in the feeding and training of greyhounds to ensure they are free of prohibited substances, including that any prohibited substances are not administered ‘accidentally’. It is the responsibility of participants to carefully consider the use of any food to make sure that all greyhounds are free of prohibited substances.
Evidence at past RADB hearings has suggested that the potential for feeding contaminated meat is a real concern and may occur when livestock are treated with medication shortly before death. These animals often end up at the knackery, where the meat is processed as ‘unfit for human consumption’ and is sold on as pet food. Offal such as liver or kidneys may have increased concentrations of drugs and feeding carries increased risk and should be avoided.
GRV does not support the feeding of ‘unfit for human consumption meat’ and participants who choose to do so take the risk that prohibited substances may be inadvertently administered.
Participants could consider feeding ‘cleaner’ meat (i.e. ‘human consumption grade’, chicken or kangaroo meat) or no meat (using a commercial complete dry food).
It is understood that some participants choose to feed knackery meat (unfit for human consumption), other than a minimum of 72 hours prior to racing. GRV warns, however that some substances (such as anaesthetic agents) are permanently banned prohibited substances and therefore must never be present in a greyhound, including during out-of-competition testing.
GRV does not support the feeding of bread or other baked goods containing poppy seeds, as they may result in a positive morphine swab. Morphine is a permanently banned prohibited substance and therefore must never be present in greyhounds (except where therapeutic exemptions exist as per GAR 79A(6).
The feeding of substances containing chocolate, liquids containing tea and/or coffee, various supplements and products from ‘health food shops’ should also be very carefully considered prior to choosing to administer them to your greyhound.
“Health” products and advertisements
If something appears too good to be true it often is. From time to time various products are advertised or promoted as being beneficial to the health or potential of racing greyhounds. Irrespective of any of these claims, GRV reiterates previous warnings and information for all participants – to ensure that great care and vigilance is exercised in the preparation of greyhounds for racing. It is the responsibility of participants to carefully consider the use of any product, including health products or additives to make sure that all greyhounds are free of any prohibited substances.
GRV accepts no responsibility for any information conveyed via advertisements appearing in any publication. GRV does not independently ascertain whether any claims made in an advertisement are factual or scientifically based, nor does it make any representation as to the capability, abilities or reputation of any and/or trainers mentioned in the advertisements.
Veterinary treatment for therapeutic purposes
Participants should ensure their greyhounds are only treated with medications dispensed and prescribed for a particular greyhound, by a registered Veterinarian. Veterinary advice should always be sought to ensure these medications are being used properly and appropriate withholding periods followed to ensure presentation of the greyhound free of a prohibited substance.
Participants appearing before the RADB often seek to rely upon veterinary advice as an excuse, however the fact remains that the participant has the ultimate responsibility; i.e. incorrect veterinary advice does not constitute a shield when a greyhound in presented with a prohibited substance. Participants must ensure that detailed and accurate records of veterinary prescribed treatments.
Prohibited substance withholding guidelines have been produced by Greyhounds Australasia for a number of genuine therapeutic substances and are available on their website (www.galtd.org.au). However, over time, available medications develop and change, as do analytical processes to detect these medications. Persons using information from these studies, any other equivalent studies or withholding guidelines provided by veterinarians or pharmaceutical companies, should carefully interpret the information provided and should always regard to the individual characteristicsof any greyhound being treated.
The results of any of these studies should only be relied upon as a guide, as excretion studies are very expensive to perform and may involve an inadequate number of greyhounds. Participants must take account of the natural variation between greyhounds and their ability to metabolise and excrete different medications and their breakdown products at different rates. In addition to the period of detection of each medication reported, a ‘safety margin’ of extra time should be employed.
Elective testing for a specific prohibited substance could also be considered. For information on elective testing kits, go to fasttrack.grv.org.au/StewardsHearing/ ElectiveSwabKits or call the GRV Integrity Department on (03) 8329 1152.
Participants must be vigilant regarding the use of non-veterinary, human and over-thecounter products that can carry an inherent risk of offending under the relevant rules of greyhound racing. In particular, GRV has seen a number of participants which have presented greyhounds with prohibited substances that they have administered to themselves – e.g. cough lollies, heart medication, anti-inflammatories, illicit drugs, etc.
Many drugs used by humans can stay on their hair or skin and be excreted in sweat, saliva, urine or faeces and find their way into the greyhound’s system. If you are on medication, use gloves to mix the greyhound’s meal, don’t allow your greyhound to lick your skin, don’t urinate around the kennels and don’t store your medication within your kennelling areas.
From time to time the GRV Integrity Department releases important information in relation to new policies, guidelines and any other ‘Steward’ related matters. This information can be found on the FastTrack website under the ‘Stewards’ tab and then selecting the ‘General Alerts’ page.
All participants are encouraged to regularly review the GRV’s General alerts to ensure they are kept up-to-date with any changes to the rules and the release of further guidance on this and other matters. It should be reiterated that whilst GRV will make every endeavour to ensure that information is disseminated in a timely manner, the onus is on you – the participant – to ensure you are aware of and understand the rules and expectations of participating in our great sport.