Gunnedah Greyhounds has defended the safety of its track after a greyhound-protection group claimed dozens of dogs had been injured there since the start of the year.
Geoff Rose, Gunnedah Greyhounds president, said Greyhound Racing NSW ranked the track - which underwent a major upgrade to align it with safety standards - among the state's five safest.
Responding to the Coalition for the Protection of Greyhounds' revelation that 44 greyhounds had been injured at the track this year (it cited NSW racing industry stewards' reports), Rose said: "There's been no catastrophe injuries [leading to death or euthanasia] for two years. So I don't know where they get those figures from."
Rose acknowledged that dogs had been injured at the track, but equated the incidents to a footballer doing a hamstring or sustaining a sprain.
He said the CPG had highlighted what were "minor injuries".
"Things like that, that's a part of sport - whether it's greyhound racing, whether it's football, whether it's AFL, whether it's basketball: you just get injuries in the sport that you're at."
Rose's retort came in the lead up to one of Gunnedah Greyhounds' biggest meetings of the year - Friday night's heats of the Million Dollar Chase.
CPG said the 44 injuries included "three major injuries with fractured and/or dislocated bones".
It said 71 injured and 22 sick dogs had been scratched at Gunnedah in 2020.
CPG said Gunnedah had "racked up 44 injuries since the start of 2020, yet more high stakes racing is due with the Million Dollar Chase heat" at the track.
CPG national president Dennis Anderson said the NSW government "should not be giving taxpayers' money to an industry which causes so much animal suffering".
"Most Australians are disgusted by animal cruelty, yet the Government gives multi-millions to an industry which causes greyhound deaths and injuries every week across this country," he said.
Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson, the minister responsible for racing in NSW, said that since January Gunnedah had recorded the lowest number of catastrophic and major category two injuries per 1000 starts of any track in NSW.
He said the state government "has committed to introducing the highest standards of greyhound welfare in Australia through the NSW Greyhound Welfare Code of Practice".
"These include the largest spatial requirements for greyhound housing and the highest standards for socialisation, exercise and enrichment standards in the nation," he said.
In 2016, then-NSW premier Mike Baird announced a ban on the sport in response to a damning report on animal cruelty - only to overturn the ban three months later.
In January last year, greyhound racing resumed in Gunnedah after a protracted $678,000 safety upgrade of the facility.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.