After a much hyped campaign by a select few in the media and other interested persons, The NSW GHRRA has yesterday officially approved a 3 month trial of a “catch the lure” sysytem similar to that routinely used in New Zealand greyhound racing.
Mr John Coughlan, GHRRA CEO; yesterday released this statement :
“The Authority has approved a 3 month Trial, effective immediately, for Trials of four Greyhounds to “catch the lure” at the completion of the Trial.
The Trials are to be conducted in the presence of a Veterinarian who will examine the Greyhounds at the completion of the Trial to ensure there are no Animal Welfare issues.
At the completion of the 3 months Trial period, the Authority will obtain feedback from Race Officials, Veterinarians, Trainers and Handlers and carefully consider its ongoing position in the matter.”
The move toward “finish on” style of racing would see the abandonement of catching pens from racetracks which would reduce the number of injuries sustained by greyhounds pulling up quickly in to a dead end after the race.
This style of racing has been conducted in New Zealand for some time and has rejuvenated the careers of many former Australian greyhounds who had lost the “zest” for racing.
However, despite the apparent advantages of the “finish on” system many states are reluctant to move toward this style of racing, with many citing a marketing or animal welfare issue as the primary hurdle to overcome.
It seems that the sight of eight greyhounds trying to get a grab of the lure after the race doesn’t sit too well with some states animal welfare marketing dpeartments.