With the constantly developing issues surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, Greyhound Racing NSW believes it is crucial to keep all participants up to date on all news involving the industry.

As such, we are encouraging all participants with questions pertaining to the COVID-19 situation, to email us here at GRNSW.

Each day I will do my best to answer questions from participants and publish them across our website and social media platforms around lunchtime.

If you have any questions, please email them to the following address: update@grnsw.com.au

Any important developments around what is happening to the industry will also be published in media releases across our GRNSW network as required.

Here’s what our teams at GRNSW are being asked right now, with the responding answers (and please keep in mind that this is both an unprecedented and fast-moving situation).

1. Q: Why did you put these new measures in place for racing at 10 tracks?

A: The health of every participant, member of staff, club members and race officials is of concern to me. Every one of us, and our industry, have a role to play in doing everything we reasonably can to stop the spread of this virus. These arrangements allow us to continue racing whilst protecting health. We are going to do our bit, and I ask that every participant does whatever is reasonable to protect every other person in the community.

2: Q: Will what GRNSW have done with cutting back on tracks be enough for us to keep going?

A: We will continue to race while it is safe in our opinion, based on the latest health advice, or until the government says we can no longer race.

3. Q: What was the criteria for choosing tracks?

A: We firstly specified the regions then chose the tracks within those regions. We have tried to cater for as many participants as we can. We have Bulli and Dapto in close proximity, but they are obviously two totally different forms of racing. There is no perfect formula for this, but we have looked to maximise the options for participants. We will continue to assess the situation as we go along.

4: What if I am in a region that has more than one track, for example Bulli, Dapto and Goulburn - can I race at just one of them or any of them?

A: Yes you can race at all tracks in your region, but again, we want to keep travel to a minimum that is why we have implemented this strategy.

5. Q: I live in the Picton area which appears to be on the edge of the Southern NSW and the Metropolitan zones according to the map. I usually race at Bulli, Dapto and Nowra, and occasionally at Richmond. Where should I be racing?

A: As you appear to be on the border of zones, you will need to select which region you wish to race in and continue to race in only that region unless advised otherwise. GRNSW is constantly reviewing all considerations around racing option.

6. Q: What happens is there is a sudden need to halt all races and cancel meetings if the box draw is out and/or the dogs are in the kennel ready to race? Will prizemoney be split or will the trainers just be sent home?

A: With the abandonment of any meeting, we would refer to our rules as they currently stand, which is that if dogs are kenneled when the meeting is called off, prizemoney is split. If it is prior to the dogs being kenneled, then the prizemoney is not split.

7. Q: Is GRNSW looking at opening clubs that were not mentioned as racing yesterday?

A: A: GRNSW is continually looking at all racing options to afford participants every opportunity to race, but of course with respect for health and safety as a priority.

8. Q: Would it be practical for all participants to wear masks, and or disposable gloves whilst at the track if deemed necessary by health experts in an attempt to keep racing going at all costs?

A: The industry will continue to monitor the recommendations provided by health experts and will continue to implement and follow the advice issued by state and federal governments in order to protect the health and wellbeing of staff, participants and the wider community.

9: Q: Can the trainers bring their own disinfectant wipes to wipe clean the kennel prior to putting their dog in the kennel?

A: Clubs have been directed to thoroughly clean kennels after each race meeting. If trainers would like to wipe the kennels for their own peace of mind, they are welcome to do so. Trainers should use wipes to clean their own hands after touching any object, door handle, box lids etc. There is a list if suitable cleaning products available on GWIC’s website.

10. Q: Is there any consideration regarding the use of alcohol based santisers and wipes and the potential possible positive reading on a greyhound should they come in contact with the sanitisers?

A: Kennels are disinfected before and after each race meeting. This has always occurred. With the recent virus it is just done more regularly. Clubs have been instructed to use an agreed list of cleaning products. If these cleaning products are used there should be no risk of contamination. The likelihood of a greyhound housed in the kennels testing positive for prohibited substances is extremely unlikely. Again, a list of suitable cleaning products is on the GWIC website.

11. Q: Should Stewards and Vets be washing/sanitising their gloves between handling greyhounds and paperwork to help prevent the potential spread of the virus?

A: The industry is carrying out its duties and following protocols that have been introduced and align with the advice and recommendations provided by NSW Health and the Commonwealth Chief Medical Officer. Stewards will not be handling greyhounds at kenneling. There will be a dedicated club official who will assist trainers and vets with having their greyhounds examined by a vet and identified by a steward. At all times trainers will be witnessing this process.

Keep your questions coming in and everyone please stay safe and be vigilant.

Tony Mestrov.