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Animal Advocacy

Greyhound Racing

Animal Advocacy

Greyhound Racing

The Problem

There have been a number of independent reviews into the welfare of dogs within the greyhound racing industry and each of these have reported significant animal welfare issues, problems with record keeping and a lack of transparency.

Animal welfare issues include: breeding practices 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 has worked for years with the industry in an attempt to improve welfare outcomes for greyhounds, including racing dogs and dogs who are retired or never race. However the Greyhound Racing Industry in New Zealand has a demonstrated history of being unwilling or unable to adequately address the significant animal welfare concerns.

Enough is enough. The only way to prevent the welfare harms associated with greyhound racing is to ban commercial greyhound racing in New Zealand.

The Solution

SPCA calls for an end to the greyhound racing industry in New Zealand via new legislation or an amendment to the Racing Industry Act 2020.

The Timeline

2013 WHK report published

The first independent review of animal welfare in the greyhound racing industry. This report highlighted multiple animal welfare concerns, with particular focus on the high levels of euthanasia due to lack of population management concerns and injuries.

2017 Hansen Report

SPCA spoke with Hon. Rodney Hansen to flag welfare concerns as part of the second review into the greyhound racing industry. Hansen noted in his review, “Greyhound racing is inherently dangerous” but advised a number of recommendations to mitigate welfare concerns.

2020 Greyhound Racing New Zealand (GRNZ) ends reporting of progress to Government

GRNZ chose to stop reporting progress against the Hansen Report’s recommendation to the Government, declaring all recommendations had been “successfully implemented”. The National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee expressed concerns that GRNZ had provided insufficient information to support this decision, prompting Ministers Robertson and Whaitiri to request GRNZ continue reporting.

2021 Racing Minster, Grant Robertson, announces third independent review into industry

Due to GRNZ’s refusal to continue providing progress reports, and multiple high profile incidents resulting in injury or deaths to racing greyhounds, the Government announced the third independent review into the industry, led by Sir Bruce Robertson.

2021 Robertson Review released and Racing Minister puts greyhound racing on notice

The Robertson review was released and highlighted ongoing concerns related to data recording, transparency and animal welfare. The Racing Minister has given the greyhound racing industry until the end of 2022 to demonstrate meaningful improvement in areas of concern or face closure.

2022 SPCA appeals to the public to help end commercial greyhound racing in New Zealand, based on the results of a survey on the NZ public’s opinion of commercial greyhound racing, commissioned by SPCA. This survey has been published in a peer reviewed scientific journal.

2023 An end to commercial greyhound racing in New Zealand…?

We need your help to make this happen.

Keep in touch

Despite overwhelming public pressure, and advocacy work from SPCA and other animal protection organisations, the Racing Minister has postponed the decision on the future of greyhound racing until after the October 2023 election. No clear date has been set for when his paper will finally go to Cabinet.

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