RCÉ is monitoring both the daily and long-term weather forecast and continues to work with the Racing, Regulation and Veterinary departments within the organisation to ensure that greyhound welfare is to the forefront of all decisions taken.
As part of this care and welfare programme the following actions have been taken:
- All racing activity is suspended between the times of 12 mid-day and 6.30 p.m. This includes official and non-official trials as well as day-time racing programmes.
- The racing schedule is monitored daily, and decisions taken on case-by-case basis in conjunction with local management.
- Those venues that are passed for racing have air-conditioned kennels or have hired industrial fan units to ensure that cool kennel temperatures are maintained.
- These units are in operation for several hours before weigh-in at each location
- For those venues that are operating racing, water baths are available at entry points to facilitate sponging down of greyhounds
- Fresh cool drinking water is available
- All greyhounds are checked by RCÉ Stewards on arrival for general health as well as any signs of heat stress.
- Those found to not meet the criteria are passed not fit for racing and attended to by the track Veterinary Surgeon immediately
- Once welfare checks are completed greyhounds are placed in the cool kennels as quickly as is practical.
- A Veterinary Surgeon is on duty at all tracks for race nights and he/she will further monitor the condition of all greyhounds pre & post-race.
- Greyhounds are monitored whilst in kennels by RCÉ personnel.
- Stewards check greyhounds when they are taken from the kennel to the track
- The Stewards also ensure that the minimum time is spent outside before they enter the traps and race.
- Water baths have been placed at the ‘pick up point’ where greyhounds are sponged down before returning to the kennel area.
- Fresh drinking water is available post-race and cold-water hose and water baths are available for use by all greyhound handlers.
- The Veterinary Surgeon on duty will continue to monitor the greyhound and ensure that greyhounds are relaxed & cool and therefore ready to travel home.
Greyhound owners have been advised by RCÉ to be extra vigilant during hot weather, of the health of greyhounds whilst in the home kennels and during transport.