SPCA New Zealand

Yet another greyhound death: SPCA wants ‘inherently dangerous’ industry shut down

13 May 2022

Following the sad news this week that yet another greyhound lost their life as a result of racing, SPCA is asking when enough will be enough.

Yet another greyhound death: SPCA wants ‘inherently dangerous’ industry shut down

On Tuesday, ‘Epic Addi’ raced at Addington Raceway, and was later euthanised because of what was described as “catastrophic injuries” sustained while racing.

Recent coverage exposes the shocking reality

The death of ‘Epic Addi’ is the latest in a string of appalling and unacceptable instances where greyhounds have suffered at the hands of this sport.

Recent media coverage has also highlighted the shocking reality that is greyhound racing in New Zealand, after images surfaced showing a number of retired racing dogs arriving at rehoming kennels with horrific injuries that appeared to have been ignored or untreated.

Little improvement while the industry’s on notice

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. The greyhound racing industry of New Zealand has a history of being unwilling or unable to address its significant animal welfare problems.

Racing Minister Grant Robertson and Animal Welfare Minister Meka Whaitiri also have concerns. They formally placed the industry on notice following the findings of the Robertson Report in 2021, which confirmed that greyhound racing is “inherently dangerous” and highlighted issues with data recording, transparency and animal welfare. Minister Robertson will consider whether the industry should face closure at the end of this year.

Since the Robertson report’s release, SPCA has not seen significant evidence of progress against the review’s recommendations. We consider it unlikely that the recommendations will be met by December 2022.

The Racing Integrity Board has publicly stated that almost all kennel audits to date have found compliance issues with industry standards, and that many trainers are still unaware of welfare standards.

Where SPCA stands

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.

While the industry continues, preventable injuries and deaths to greyhounds will also continue. Enough is enough. SPCA will persevere with our advocacy work to shine a light on this issue, and continue to call for an end to the greyhound racing.

SPCA has indicated to Greyhound Racing New Zealand (GRNZ) that we are willing to discuss how we can help existing rehoming organisations and other rescues rehabilitate and rehome greyhounds during the wind-down period, should the industry face closure. Planning for this scenario must begin as soon as possible to ensure the protection of the approximately 3,000 dogs currently involved in the industry.

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