To identify environmental and management factors affecting injury rate in racing greyhounds.
Surveys of racing injuries at two greyhound tracks in the UK were conducted using injury data collected by track veterinary surgeons. At Track A the relative frequency of common injuries was determined and compared with previously published studies conducted in the UK. At Track B the effects of month of the year, ambient temperature and track condition ("going") on injury rate were determined.
Comparison of common injuries at Track A with previous studies suggested a change in the relative frequency of some injury types following a change in track surface from grass to sand. Estimated injury rates suggest improved track safety with the change in track surface. At Track B, injury rate increased significantly with faster track conditions. Time of year and ambient temperature had no significant effect on injury rate.
Changes in track maintenance resulting in a slower track may reduce injury rate in racing greyhounds, with associated welfare benefits.