The Board of Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) has approved the introduction of a reporting level for the prohibited substance Procaine in greyhound urine samples.
The introduction of the reporting level means that Procaine found in a racing greyhound would only be deemed to be a prohibited substance when in excess of 1,000 nanograms per millilitre in urine.
The Board of GRNSW adopted the reporting level based on the advice of GRNSW’s Greyhound Welfare and Veterinary Services Unit which determined that the large majority of urine samples found to contain traces of Procaine in the past five years were due to trainers inadvertently feeding their greyhounds contaminated meat.
Procaine is commonly used by farmers to treat sick livestock and as a result is often found in meat fed to greyhounds. Procaine is mixed with penicillin to decrease pain in animals.
Over the past five years, GRNSW has recorded 12 swabs that have been found to contain traces of Procaine. In all but one of the 12 cases, the most likely source of the drug was a result of feeding contaminated meat to racing greyhounds.
GRNSW Head Racing Veterinarian Dr Brian Daniel said the introduction of a reporting level was a logical step because Procaine must be used at high levels to affect a greyhound’s racing
“While a trainer has a responsibility to present his or her greyhound substance free, even those who adopt best practice in relation to feed cannot totally reduce the risk that the meat they feed their greyhound does not contain even minimal levels of Procaine,” Dr Daniel said.
To coincide with the new reporting level, GRNSW has released a Procaine Veterinary Fact Sheet, which advises participants on what Procaine is and how to minimise the risk of a greyhound
returning a positive swab for Procaine.
The Procaine Fact Sheet can be downloaded here:
Procaine Fact Sheet
In addition, GRNSW’s Greyhound Welfare and Veterinary Services Unit will be conducting participant information sessions on swabbing and prohibited substances at TAB tracks across NSW throughout October.