Greyhound racing

Our work Animals in Aotearoa Greyhound racing


Those of us who have lived with or spent time with a greyhound will tell you that they are among the gentlest, sweetest and laziest dog breeds around.

Contrary to popular belief, greyhounds are not high-energy dogs and love nothing more than a long nap and a snuggle on the sofa – if they can fit.

Their long, lean bodies carry little fat, which is why you‘ll sometimes see them wearing specially made greyhound pyjamas in winter. (And you thought they were just incredibly stylish!)

Greyhounds are well known for being the fastest dogs on the planet ‒ reaching speeds of up to almost 70 kilometres per hour. Sadly, it’s for this reason that the racing industry uses these placid, gentle dogs.

Greyhound racing in New Zealand

The Greyhound Racing New Zealand 2020 Annual Report shows that 34 dogs were killed on racetracks due to critical injuries sustained during racing. A further 165 dogs were euthanised for reasons the industry will not even disclose.

New Zealand businesses are taking a stand

Public support for greyhound racing is dwindling. Many businesses have withdrawn their support and have issued statements on their stance on greyhound racing.

Toyota New Zealand
"Toyota New Zealand does not sponsor greyhound racing and we have no intentions of doing so in the future, as it does not align with our brand at any level."

Motor Trade Association
"I can confirm that we have no current connection with the greyhound racing industry."

Ray White
"I can confirm that there is no Ray White branding representing greyhound racing in New Zealand. We do not condone greyhound racing."

First Security
"This is not a sport we condone or support."

"We have no affiliation with any racing, greyhound or otherwise….. On the contrary, we sponsor HUHA."

New Zealand is falling behind

New Zealand is one of only seven countries in the world that still allows commercial greyhound racing. A ban in the Australian Capital Territory came into force in April 2018, followed by a ban in Florida, USA, in November 2018. Since Florida is home to 11 of the USA’s 17 active dog tracks, this is a signal that greyhound racing is about to become a thing of the past in the United States.

When it comes to greyhound racing here in New Zealand, it’s clear that we are falling behind and that our government needs to act.

Live baiting

Live baiting is the practice of using live animals as a lure for greyhounds to chase during training. It is believed that it makes the dogs run faster. The use of live or dead animals as bait is banned in New Zealand, but in a self-regulating industry, it is easy to flout these rules. In December 2017, several former workers in the greyhound industry told the media that live baiting did happen.

“I saw live baiting quite often, maybe once every two weeks,” one worker said at the time. “Some of the animals were possums...guinea pigs and also rabbits.”

The problem of live baiting is thought to be more widespread and hidden by the industry.

Thinking of adopting a greyhound?

Greyhounds are among the most misunderstood dog breeds. The number one misconception is that they are high energy and require lots of exercise. The truth is that while they do enjoy short bursts of activity, the rest of the time they like to nap.

Another misunderstanding is that a muzzle equals aggression. Greyhounds, like any dog, are capable of chasing cats, but have often missed out vital training as pups through no fault of their own. A muzzle may simply mean that the greyhound is in training or has been newly rehomed. One thing’s for sure ‒ there is likely to be a big softy behind that muzzle.

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