Canine coronavirus hits greyhound industry
GREYHOUND breeders, owners and trainers have been put on alert following four new cases of canine coronavirus in greyhounds in Tasmania.
In a notice to industry participants, the Office of Racing Integrity advised that four more confirmed cases of canine coronavirus in greyhounds had been detected.
The first case of what is known as Canine Enteric coronavirus (CCoV) in greyhounds was reported by ORI in the state's north in late March.
But the latest cases have seen three properties in Tasmania's south and one in the state's north quarantined to minimise the possible spread of the virus.
The Office of Racing Integrity said canine coronavirus was in no way related to the current COVID-19 pandemic affecting humans and was not transferable to humans.
"Greyhounds suffering from vomiting from vomiting, diarrhoea, loss of appetite, lethargy or fever should be taken to the vet for further diagnosis and trainers should notify ORI immediately,'' it said in a statement.
"There must also be great emphasis on hygiene, avoiding transfer from possibly exposed dogs to your usual kennels.
"If you suspect the infection is in your dogs, please notify ORI.
"The health of all greyhounds must be checked before bringing them to a race or trial and if they are ill they must be scratched from racing."
ORI told greyhound racing industry participants to keep their greyhounds isolated until confirmation of whether canine coronavirus was the cause.
Let Greyhounds Run Free spokeswoman Fran Chambers said she understood 16 greyhounds nominated to race at Launceston on Monday night had been scratched due to illness.
Ms Chambers said canine coronavirus was contagious among dogs, was dangerous to their health and could be fatal.
"Like human COVID-19, canine enteric coronavirus is highly contagious, and dangerous to susceptible dogs,'' she said.
"We call on the greyhound racing industry to undertake mandatory testing of all nominated greyhounds prior to arrival at a track, to ensure they are free of canine coronavirus.
"If the industry cannot assure the public that dogs are free from the canine virus, they need to close the tracks down until they are certain Tasmania is free of this virulent canine virus."
The Office of Racing Integrity has been contacted for further comment.
Originally published as Canine coronavirus hits Tassie greyhound industry