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Do our Statistics hold up?

Have you heard our recent radio ads on Nova 93.7 this week? Are you curious about the figures we mention in the ads? We’ve broken it down for you:

Approximately 40% of greyhounds are injured every year on WA tracks

On its We Are Animal People website and in its Annual Reports, Racing and Wagering WA (RWWA) states that, “In WA greyhound racing, 99.8% of starters race safely without sustaining major injuries”. Whilst this statistic is technically correct, it is obtained by manipulating the figures in a way which obscures the alarming number of greyhounds which suffer all injuries while racing.

In fact, in the 2020-2021 financial year, 1,659 individual greyhounds raced with 626 of them suffering any injury (of all severities, not just major as RWWA state) bringing the actual injury rate to 37.73%. 

In reaching the 99.8% injury figure, RWWA calculates “starters” instead of individual greyhounds racing. A “starter” is a greyhound which is entered into and starts a race or qualifying trial, such that one greyhound may have 50 starts and therefore represent 50 “starters”. This is why in the 2020-2021 financial year there were 31,105 starters despite only 1,659 individual greyhounds actually being raced. 

Furthermore, RWWA’s statistic only takes into account “major” injuries which include serious bone fractures, on-track deaths, and injuries which “retire” a greyhound immediately from racing. The 99.8% does not account for injuries of any severity (including minor and moderate), which can be just as serious and career-ending. Therefore, RWWA has cherry-picked a statistic which masks the prevalence of injuries amongst individual racing greyhounds.

Over 80 Greyhounds fractured bones in 2021 in WA

Free the Hounds tracks and records all injuries that are reported in RWWA’s Steward reports. Steward reports are written and released to the public detailing the injuries suffered by greyhounds in each race. Over the year, there were 89 fractures on WA tracks – the vast majority of these greyhounds were retired immediately from racing, and some of them were euthanised.

Since 2015, 1200 Greyhounds have died on WA race tracks.

Where do we get this information from?

Free The Hounds obtains all of its information, including the above figures, directly from RWWA – through documents obtained under Freedom of Information, RWWA’s Annual Reports and its Steward reports.