Outcome of Ethyloestrenol Review

Thursday 1 April 2010 

Greyhounds Australasia (GA) advises that it has conducted its review of the racing rule, which allows oral administration of ethyloestrenol for the female racing greyhound, on the basis that it is prescribed by a registered veterinarian, for the sole purpose of regulating or preventing oestrus.

The GA Board acknowledges and thanks industry participants, veterinarians, racing analysts and a like, that took the time to provide a submission to the review.

After taking account all of the information that had been received and assessing this against the terms of reference, the GA Board RESOLVED at its 12 March 2010 Board meeting that:

  • The existing rule which only allows ethyloestrenol for female racing greyhounds is to remain unchanged.

The Board highlights that this decision was based on the following:

  • GA’s position remains the same; that it is preferable that racing greyhounds are to be free of prohibited substances, in this case anabolic steroids.
  • Based on jurisdictional data it was concluded that:
    • The rule change has not impacted significantly on the number of bitches that raced during the period under review. During the period 1/7/08 to 30/6/09 44.03% of runners were bitches compared with 44.67% during the period 1/7/07 to 30/6/08. An overall decrease nationally of .64% 
    • The rule has not significantly affected the percentage of bitches that won a race during the period under review. During the period 1/7/08 to 30/6/09 41.37% of bitches won a race compared with 41.83% during the period 1/7/07 to 30/6/08. An overall decrease nationally of .46%
  • The low number of participant responses (i.e. less than .001% of registered participants) made validation and any potential alteration to the current rule extremely difficult for the Board.
  • The review indicated that ethyloestrenol has had a minimal impact on breeding; as well bred greyhounds will always be in demand and sell well. It was however noted that some professional trainers are becoming selective in training bitches.
  • The long term supply of ethyloestrenol seems relatively stable.

Mr Russell Ware, GA Chairman said:

“The decision of the Board regarding ethyloestrenol was an extremely difficult one.”

“Views on the subject are divided and judgment differs between participants and experts. This was highlighted in the questionnaires and independent opinion received where 10 alternative oestrus suppression products were recommended. Australasia is not alone with this dilemma as Britain is facing a similar problem.”

In making its determination, the GA Board acknowledged and agreed that:

  • There was sufficient information in the review to suggest that further investigation is required into the complicated matter of oestrus control in the female racing greyhound.
  • Concerns raised by only allowing one suppressant product was taken into consideration and as a result a GA Committee consisting of Australian Greyhound Veterinary Association members, breeders, trainers and some GA representatives will be formed to: ­
    • Seek full registration of an ethyloestrenol oestrus prevention medication with the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicine Authority including undertaking some research; and ­
    • The Committee to suggest further research to the GA Board which may allow it to be in a position to consider an alternative oestrus control product.
  • The GA CEO will continue to work closely with the Greyhound Board of Great Britain and asses if any collaborative research could be undertaken in respect of oestrus suppression.
  • Industry education is a key to assist with the future management of racing bitches, and during 2010 GA members have committed to providing information on this topic at industry based forums.

For any inquiries please contact.

Craig Taberner
Chief Executive Officer
Ph: 03 9548 3500

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