Tasmanian greyhounds get green light to get back on track

Trials in the three racing codes have been given the green light to resume in Tasmania as the state eyes a return to the track next month.

The state banned thoroughbred, greyhound and harness racing in early April, the only jurisdiction in Australia to do so, as part of coronavirus measures.

Trials have been permitted to resume from Monday under strict social distancing rules and with fewer officials and participants.

“(The) announcement gives industry participants the chance to prepare their animals for a re-start of racing from 13 June,” Minister for Racing Jane Howlett said on Wednesday.

“I hope the decision provides a much-needed boost of confidence to the industry.”

Trials can be held at Mowbray and Longford Racecourses in the state’s north and Elwick Racecourse in Hobart, while track gallops and jump-outs will also proceed for thoroughbreds.

Tasracing boss Paul Eriksson said it was an important first step.

“We will now be working closely with each code on the specifics of the trials, and with Workplace Standards to ensure our trial-day procedures are in line with requirements to limit COVID-19 infection risks,” he said.

Tasmanian greyhounds have been banned from racing since 2nd April 2020.

The state government forked out $2 million in support for the industry after announcing the ban.

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