Legislative Council: Wednesday, February 22, 2023


Greyhound Racing

The Hon. T.A. FRANKS (14:59): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking a question of the Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, representing the Minister for Recreation, Sport and Racing, on the topic of hot weather policy for greyhound racing.

Leave granted.

The Hon. T.A. FRANKS: The risk of heat stress is dramatically increased when the air temperature is high. Repeated exposure to high temperatures can predispose greyhounds to organ damage, reduced exercise tolerance and respiratory problems. Research clearly shows that racing must stop at 38° Celsius and that larger, dark-coloured dogs are particularly at risk. This is extremely dangerous for the dogs, who are already being pushed to race at speeds of up to 65 km/h.

Yesterday, during question time I asked the minister, representing the minister, whether this government will ensure that greyhounds are not forced to run and race at temperatures over 38° Celsius, as we expect this week. There was much public support for the suspension of these races, and it has now been announced that the race at Mount Gambier for tomorrow has been cancelled due to the predicted forecast of 40° Celsius—a great win for the greyhounds and their safety.

However, I understand that a race at Murray Bridge is still going ahead on Friday, even though there the predicted forecast is a temperature of 41° Celsius. My question to the minister is: what actions has the minister taken with regard to the scheduled race on 24 February in Murray Bridge, given that it is due to start at 2.30pm and is expected to be 41° Celsius at the time?

The Hon. C.M. SCRIVEN (Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, Minister for Forest Industries) (15:01): I thank the honourable member for her question. I did refer yesterday to the hot weather policy and the actions the minister in the other place has taken so far. I will forward the question the honourable member has asked to my colleague in the other place and bring back a response.