Greyhounds racing in Victoria will be provided with improved safety outcomes as Greyhound Racing Victoria (GRV) commences implementing the use of the Hoop Arm lure for racing at all 13 tracks throughout the state.
To be phased in over the next six months, GRV will adopt the Hoop Arm lure for racing at all Victorian circle tracks after a series of trials conducted at Victorian racetracks over the past year.
“The hoop arm has produced cleaner and safer racing during the trial period. This improved safety was particularly evident with the latest version of the hoop arm lure which has been trialled at The Meadows,” GRV General Manager of Racing Stuart Laing said.
The Hoop Arm lure was trialed at seven Victorian racetracks with the objective of reducing interference in races and subsequently racing incident injuries, as well as examining the motivations of greyhounds to chase the lure.
“In future for races run on the hoop arm in Victoria, the greyhounds will finish in the catching pen as opposed to continuing on and finishing on the lure into the back straight, as has been trialled at various tracks during the trial period,” Mr Laing said.
“GRV was not satisfied that using the finish on method was in the best interests of greyhound safety at this time, however GRV is about to be involved in a ‘Motivation to Chase’ study and will further consider the use of finish on lure in this context.”
GRV also accepts that there could be merit in exploring the use of other versions of finish on lure. These matters will be considered in the proposed study.
As well as being adopted at all 12 Victorian circle tracks, there will be a hybrid version developed for use at Healesville’s straight track, incorporating the same colour schemes and design as the lures used on the hoop arm.
“The new GRV is doing all it can to provide a long, enjoyable life for every Victorian greyhound before, during and after its racing career and we anticipate this will be a major step towards this outcome”, Mr Laing said.
This initiative is the latest in a series of reforms made to Victorian greyhound racing in the past 18 months to improve animal welfare outcomes and follows on from recommendations made in a report by the Office of the Racing Integrity Commissioner last year.
Further details on commencement dates for racing on the hoop arm lure at each Victorian track will be communicated in coming weeks.
Detailed of acceptable and unacceptable lures for training purposes can be found here.