New Zealand greyhound racing under threat as animal rights groups push for ban
Greyhound Racing New Zealand is disappointed to learn that the Royal New Zealand Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) has launched a campaign advocating an end to commercial greyhound racing in New Zealand.
In a statement, GRNZ said: “Many people are aware that our industry has been under scrutiny since the publication of the Robertson Review in September 2021.
“This review is currently ongoing and GRNZ will submit its final progress report to the Minister of Racing in mid-December.
“It would be premature for decisions to be made before that.”
GRNZ has made significant inroads in the areas of animal welfare and runway safety in recent years, and has made exponential progress in the past year alone.
Euthanizing greyhounds for no other reason than that they are no longer competitive on a racetrack has now been eradicated entirely.
“We recognize that injuries still exist, but we are constantly working on ways to prevent, reduce and lessen the effects of injuries,” the statement added.
“The Reassignment Rehabilitation Program continues to be our go-to rehabilitation program for Greyhounds who sustain race day injuries.
“This is a GRNZ funded scheme, where greyhounds injured on the trail are rehabilitated before entering the rehousing scheme.
“In April 2022, we introduced a preferred box draw driver for low grade sighthounds where sighthounds are assigned their boxes based on their first racing traits (rail, straight, wide).
“Early evidence suggests this is effective in reducing serious injury rates.
“Favorite Box Draw Races is a first in Australasia.
“We also continue to make significant investments in track safety and infrastructure.
“For GRNZ, animal welfare is paramount, which is why we are about to begin construction of our first straight track in New Zealand.
“This track will be located in Wanganui and we expect it to open in April 2023.
“Additionally, GRNZ has recently hired a new National Track Manager, who is a leading track authority in Australasia.
“This person will oversee all greyhound tracks in New Zealand, including the training of track keepers, ensuring the safest possible presentation of our tracks.”
In addition, the GRNZ Animal Health and Welfare Committee and the Serious Injury Review Committee play a vital role in injury prevention, reduction and mitigation.
Since March 1, 2022, all registered racing greyhounds must be vaccinated, and puppies must also be vaccinated since September 1, 2022.
Again, New Zealand is ahead of its Australian counterparts in this area.
“The love and care our Authorized Persons have for their Greyhounds is second to none, and the fact that 521 Greyhounds were housed through the Great Mates Rehoming Program last season is a testament to how well these beautiful animals are socialized. “, said GRNZ.
“Additionally, when our Greyhounds enter the Great Mates Rehoming program, there are no time constraints or constraints on when the Greyhounds should be adopted.
“Every greyhound has the opportunity to live out the rest of their life as a pet at the end of their racing career.
“GRNZ has nothing to hide.
“All of the race stewards’ reports are available on our website, and all of our quarterly reports are also posted on our website.
“Our quarterly reports contain more detail on all the improvements our industry has made and continues to make.
“These quarterly reports also include all injury statistics, as well as euthanasia and race day and non-race day mortality information.
“Conversely, we note that the New Zealand SPCA does not publish its euthanasia rates anywhere.
“The RSPCA Australia, however, does this every year.
“In summary, we consider it highly inappropriate for any charity to devote significant time, money and resources to this campaign, particularly when a robust independent review process is already underway. .”
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