Greyhound industry shaken and needs to go

New Zealand is one of only eight countries in the world that allows commercial greyhound racing. New developments this month has shown it is time New Zealand ended the use of dogs in races for gambling, for good. First evidence claiming live baiting came to light, and a report by the New Zealand Racing Board was released that highlighted the welfare failings of the greyhound industry.

The SPCA are currently investigating one of New Zealand’s biggest earning trainers for live baiting. Live baiting is when greyhound trainers use live animals as lures, then allow the dogs to kill the animals when they catch them. This is a drawn out, and painful death, for the bait animal. The dogs are also harmed as they are taught to chase and kill live animals, making them potentially unsuitable to rehoming.

The investigation came following photos alleged to show live baiting being carried out, and previous employees of the trainer have also backed the claims of live baiting. Evidence of live baiting in Australia in 2015 shook the industry there and lead to a ban being introduced in the ACT, and a range of restrictions coming in in other states.

In 2016 the New Zealand Racing Board asked former High Court judge, the Honourable Rodney Hansen CNZM QC, to investigate and report on welfare issues in greyhound racing. The 93 page long report was described by Racing Minister Winston Peters as “disturbing and deeply disappointing” in the range of issues it brought to light.

The report highlights that large numbers of dogs are killed following injuries and for not being able to race fast enough. With only small token numbers of retired dogs rehomed and some trainers allegedly using live animals when training, the list of reasons why greyhound racing needs to end is long. The dogs are suffering, and dying well before there time, all for profit and entertainment.

New Zealand is falling behind and our Government needs to take action. It’s time to end the racing and killing of greyhounds.


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