SPCA New Zealand
Advice & welfare

Greyhound Racing

Animals in Entertainment, Sport, and Work

SPCA advocates for the greyhound racing industry to improve its practices to better meet the physical, health, and behavioural needs of the dogs for the whole of their life.

The greyhound racing industry must maintain responsibility for all the dogs that they breed and ensure they have a good quality of life, whether or not they are raced. SPCA advocates for greater compliance with socialisation practices to reduce stress throughout their lives and improve adoption success, whether or not they have been raced.

Practices used to control or modify the behaviour or performance of the dogs during racing or training must be humane and not cause injury, pain, suffering or distress to the animal. SPCA supports steps taken to identify and reduce the risk of injury during races. SPCA advocates that animal race tracks must have a veterinarian present who has experience in the veterinary needs of racing dogs.

SPCA advocates for the mandatory collection and publication of comprehensive lifecycle (birth to death records) and injury statistics for greyhounds bred for racing and a national identification registration and traceability system.

Strict and enforced greyhound regulations are needed to ensure the welfare of the dogs throughout their lives, not just when they are participating in races.

SPCA opposes greyhound racing because of the significant animal welfare concerns regarding current practices within the greyhound racing industry.

These practices include: breeding practice that lead to poor welfare outcomes; physical overexertion, distress or injuries that result from excessive demands being placed upon the animals during racing or training; lack of socialisation and environmental enrichment; poor nutrition: inadequate housing; administration of banned or unregistered substances; the export of greyhounds; illegal live baiting; the fate of unwanted greyhounds; and the difficulties in rehoming greyhounds once their racing career is over.

SPCA advocates that animal race tracks must only be able to operate if a veterinarian is present who has experience in the veterinary needs of racing dogs.

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