Richmond Racing Club was Australia’s deadliest greyhound racing track in 2021, recording 10 deaths and 572 injuries, according to data collated by the Coalition for the Protection of Greyhounds.
Richmond’s 2021 injury tally of 572 is more than the combined total of the second and third worst tracks in the state (The Gardens, 295 and Wentworth Park, 228), with its death toll of 10 narrowly topping tracks in South Australia (Murray Bridge) and Queensland (Albion Park), each recording 9 deaths.
Upper House MP for the Animal Justice Party Mark Pearson has called for greyhound racing at the track to be banned until the venue is investigated by the Greyhound Welfare and Integrity Commission.
“Ten deaths and 572 injuries: if these statistics applied to any human sport, this venue would be torn down and heads would roll,” he said.
Mr Pearson is calling on Minister for Hospitality and Racing, Kevin Anderson, to halt all races at Richmond until the cause of its “disproportionately high” number of injuries and deaths is investigated and addressed.
“These dogs deserve justice. And if Mr Anderson doesn’t act, he’ll begin 2022 with blood on his hands – aiding and abetting criminal behaviour in allowing racing at this death-trap to continue.”
Richmond Race Club is located an hour from Sydney’s CBD in Hawkesbury and is billed as “Western Sydney’s premier greyhound racing track”.
Last year, Richmond and Wentworth Park shared in $1.6 million of funding to “undertake work to meet stringent new minimum safety standards to drive down injury rates in the sport”.
Over $23 million was allocated by the New South Wales Government to greyhound racing clubs across the state, in addition to another $7 million already spent on “safety works” through the Government’s Greyhound Raxing Capital Grants Program.
In April 2021, Richmond opened the state’s first straight track, which the industry lauded as “a great step forward for NSW, with huge racing and welfare benefits”.
“Where is this money going? And how many races at Richmond last year actually took place on that straight track?” Mr Pearson said.
“The numbers just aren’t adding up. This track has seen a share in close to two million dollars and dogs are still dying virtually every week.”