This week, GBGB held its annual Track Vet Training Day which was attended virtually by track vets from across all of GBGB’s licensed racecourses. As the event was held online this year, GBGB was able to welcome veterinary experts from across the globe to discuss the latest cutting-edge research into greyhound welfare, safety and care.

A highlight of the day was a presentation by Dr Steven Karamatic, Chief Veterinarian at Greyhound Racing Victoria in Australia who, alongside Professor Tim Morris, presented a global review into medication control in racing greyhounds.

Participants also heard from the University of Nottingham’s Professor Richard Payne who reported on the latest findings from the Disease Surveillance and Monitoring Programme. This research programme, which is run in partnership with GBGB, seeks to identify and monitor contagious diseases amongst the greyhound population. This year, the programme looked into the prevalence of non-typical kennel cough.  As well as supporting GBGB’s response to the nationwide outbreak, the findings were shared with general pet clinicians across the country.

During the afternoon, recently appointed GBGB Independent Director, Professor Madeleine Campbell, delivered a thought-provoking presentation entitled ‘Sporting Animals, Ethics, and Us’ that explored the ethical arguments for greyhound racing. As part of this, she discussed her work in developing GBGB’s new overarching and holistic welfare strategy, A Good Life for Every Greyhound, which will be published next Spring.

As well as leading experts and professors, the track vets also heard from five young researchers carrying out work in the field of racing greyhounds. Lucy Waterman, Jessica Oliver, Stacey Powers, Lucy Porter and Katie Reynolds from the University of Nottingham delved into GBGB’s extensive veterinary data as part of their degree study. They presented their research into various topics ranging from minerals in the eyes of greyhounds, trends in gracilis injuries and canine haemorrhagic pneumonia (CHP).

We would also like to extend our thanks to Graham Dick, President of the charity Vetlife, who introduced the vital work his organisation does each week to support veterinary professionals across the country.

Dr Simon Gower, GBGB Veterinary Director, said:

“As veterinarians working within greyhound racing, our overarching goal is to continue to improve the lives of racing greyhounds before, during and after their careers on the track.

“This event was a fantastic opportunity to get together and explore the latest research and data. It was especially important this year that we came together and reflect on the impact of the pandemic on our athletes’ health and wellbeing. It was an inspiring day with presentations from students to professors and we are hugely grateful to all the speakers for their rigorously researched and wide-ranging contributions.  

“One benefit of holding the event virtually this year meant that we were able to welcome colleagues from across the globe as both speakers and guests. Thank you to everyone who made the event such a success and I very much hope that we can meet again in person next year.”