Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) has amended its policy on lures by prohibiting the use of tanned and professionally processed animal skins for the purposes of trialling or educating greyhounds from 1 December 2015.
The latest amendments means that all lures used in greyhound training, education or racing must be made of purely synthetic materials only.
This move comes following the release of Working Dog Alliance Australia’s landmark report on best practice rearing, socialisation, education and training methods for racing greyhounds, which recommended all lures to be synthetic and of non-related animal material.
In amending its policy on lures, GRNSW also gave consideration to the Working Dog Alliance’s finding that animal-derived products had no impact whatsoever on a greyhound’s ability to chase.
The latest change does not dictate what shape a lure or training device has to be.
The change follows on from the announcement of GRNSW’s interim policy in March which completely prohibited the use of any animal carcass or part of an animal as a lure or bait in greyhound training, education and racing.
Training videos produced by the GRNSW Education Unit demonstrating the proper use of artificial lures will also be made available shortly as well as a training manual highlighting various artificial lure products and explaining common training methods with synthetic lures. This is the first step in addressing one of the key recommendations of the Working Dog Alliance Australia’s report, which recommended greater guidance and education to be made available for all industry participants and to tie in the move to competency based accreditation requirements for obtaining licenses due to begin in 2016.
The change also signals GRNSW’s intention to prioritise investment in research and education on best practice greyhound training methodologies that will drive positively impact greyhound welfare. As part of this, GRNSW is currently developing a research agenda that will identify methods to increase greyhound career longevity. The agenda will examine the following areas:
• Characterising the ‘chase motivation’ trait;
• Lure design;
• Track design; and
The updated policy on lures will apply to all persons involved in greyhound racing and includes rearers, trainers and owners in any grounds, premises or within the boundaries of any property in NSW. Those found in breach of the policy face a minimum disqualification of 10 years and/or substantial financial penalties.
Participants are still required to notify GRNSW of any animals kept as domesticated pets or for agricultural purposes in a place where greyhounds are also kept, trained or raced.
Click here to view the GRNSW policy on lures
Click here for answers to some frequently asked questions about the policy on lures
Click here to view the Animal Declaration Form