Racing Queensland Limited (RQL) has completed its review into the operation of the finish on lure system to pull up greyhounds at the completion of races.
As previously foreshadowed, after making certain improvements to the catching pen (including changing the design and operation of the gate and the method of entry for catchers), the Ipswich Greyhound Racing Club was allowed to re-introduce catching in the pen.
Since that time, RQL has maintained records of greyhound injuries at Albion Park (finish on lure) and Ipswich (catching in the pen).
The record shows that injuries attributable to the manner of completion of the race have now reduced at Ipswich to the extent there are significantly less such injuries than at Albion Park (even taking into account the number of races held).
Suspension rates at Ipswich for the period since the return of catching in the pen are also lower than those at Albion Park.
Given that the welfare of the greyhound is RQL’s primary concern and the modifications at Ipswich, coupled with the new lure design, appear to be producing the best results.
RQL will now commence modifications to the pen design at Albion Park with a view to re-introducing catching in the pen at that venue from January 1, 2011.
In other news, Racing Queensland will inject an additional $1.5 million into the state’s greyhound industry from next year.
There will be an extra $1.2 million for extra prize money, with the balance to be spent developing a new feature race schedule for next year.
Racing Queensland says it will bring greyhound racing into line with similar spending increases in harness and thoroughbred racing.