Animal welfare group fights for investigation into Whanganui racetrack after spate of greyhound deaths | 1 NEWS


An animal welfare organisation is asking for considered one of Aotearoa’s greyhound racing tracks to be closed so an investigation could be carried out right into a string of canine deaths on the website. 

SAFE says there have been eight greyhounds die to because of accidents sustained at racetracks since December 18 – 5 of which have been at Whanganui’s Hatrick Raceway.

Spokesperson for the company Will Appelbe is asking for speedy closure of the observe for an investigation.

“Whereas Kiwis loved their unstoppable summer time, the greyhound demise toll has soared during the last three weeks,” he mentioned.

On December 18, one canine was euthanised in Whanganui after struggling a major fracture to the suitable hock, then on December 22, a canine which suffered a fractured hock was euthanised in Palmerston North, he mentioned.

A hock is a canine’s equal to a human ankle. 

In Auckland, a canine was euthanised on December 27 after dislocating its proper hock, and three days later a canine was euthanised following gastric dilation and volvulus in Whanganui.

Two canine have been euthanised in Whananui on January 1 – one after struggling a ruptured abdomen and the opposite after struggling a fractured hind tarsal bone.

Final Wednesday, in Whanganui, a canine was euthanised after struggling a fractured proper hock, then on Sunday a canine was euthanised after struggling a fractured proper hock in Auckland.

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A spokesperson at Greyhound Racing New Zealand (GRNZ) informed 1 NEWS two of the eight euthanisations have been for abdomen points unrelated to racing.

“The January 6 incident at Whanganui got here in a trial earlier than racing commenced. Following this trial the RIU [New Zealand Racing Integrity Unit] deemed that the observe was not protected and the race assembly was deserted.”

The spokesperson mentioned GRNZ had initiated the manufacture of a brand new observe groomer for Whanganui which had arrived on the venue.

“It’s able to delivering a really constant racing floor for each race or trial,” they mentioned.

“We’re a nicely regulated sport. We now have on-site vet checks prior to every race and any canine discovered to be carrying an damage are topic to strict stand down durations.

“The GRNZ crew will proceed to take motion to make greyhound racing as protected as potential. All the things we do is about enhancing and defending the racing expertise and the welfare of our greyhounds. That is our obligation of care as guardians of the game.”

Final yr, euthanisations have been down 40 per cent and the present season, now 5 months in, was on observe to report one other discount, the spokesperson mentioned.

Nonetheless, SAFE’s Appelbe mentioned, “the 5 canine killed on the Whanganui racetrack is appalling and warrants a right away investigation.

“The buck stops with MPI they usually should intervene,” he mentioned, calling the location a “demise observe”.

An MPI spokesperson informed 1 NEWS it didn’t have energy to shut the observe, including it was as much as operators and the New Zealand Racing Integrity Unit.

When contacted, the Racing Integrity Unit’s common supervisor, Mike Godber, mentioned the group “doesn’t have any additional remark to make” along with Greyhound Racing New Zealand’s assertion to 1 NEWS.

In the meantime, the MPI mentioned it could “discuss to Greyhound Racing New Zealand and the operators of the observe to see whether or not there are any particular points affecting animal welfare. The place there are breaches of animal welfare guidelines MPI investigates”.

The most recent deaths come after a complete of 214 greyhounds have been euthanised final season, in accordance with Greyhound Racing New Zealand’s 2020 annual report. 

“Greyhounds are the one canine New Zealand doesn’t appear to care about. However we care, and we anticipate extra from the animal welfare institution,” SAFE’s Appelbe mentioned.

“Greyhound racing is harmful, and these canine belong on somebody’s sofa, not the racetrack. A ban on greyhound racing is lengthy overdue.”

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