Regarded as a cruel sport by many, greyhound racing typically presents more of a risk of potentially serious injury to the hounds than it does to those attending the greyhounds as handlers or spectators. There are, however, some risks those planning on handling greyhounds or attending a race should be aware of.
Risks of attending the greyhounds
The main risks of sustaining personal injuries faced by spectators, handlers and veterinarians attending the greyhounds are the risks of injuries by slips, trips and falls and injuries by being bitten.
Preventing being bitten
Typically not aggressive animals, greyhounds can get very excited when racing. This excitement can lead to biting if the animal is approached or handled in the wrong manner. The risk of being bitten by a greyhound can, however, be significantly reduced by following these simple rules:
- Before attempting to touch a greyhound, allow it to sniff your hand (palm down, fingers closed)
- Always touch a greyhound’s chest or the side of its face before trying to reach behind its head
- Discourage others (in particular children) from hugging greyhounds. A dominant gesture in the body language of dogs, this may result in the greyhound biting.
Greyhounds can get over-excited before, during and after races. Being calm, following instructions by officials and approaching the animals with due care, in particular in the catching pen (the pen hounds gather in following a race) can help prevent bite injuries.
Preventing other injuries
Injuries by slipping, tripping and falling can be prevented by watching your step, particularly in crowded spectator areas, where spills, dropped food items or bags, items of clothing, etc. may otherwise cause slip or trip injuries. For obvious reasons, it is equally important to keep an eye on the ground in areas where greyhounds are likely to empty out (a term used to describe the excretion or discharge of urine or faeces by greyhounds).
Injured at the races
If you were bitten by a greyhound or sustained a slip, trip or fall injury through no fault of your own while attending the greyhounds, you could be eligible for personal injury compensation.
Complete the 30-second test on our website or speak to an Accident Advice Helpline advisor on our freephone helpline 0800 689 0500 (0333 500 0993 if you are using your mobile to make the call) to confirm that you have a claim and get an experienced in-house solicitor assigned to your case today.