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Ban Greyhound Racing

Take action Ban Greyhound Racing

Greyhounds

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.

Take action for greyhounds

Demand a ban on greyhound racing

Send the Minister for Racing, Hon Grant Robertson and Associate Minister of Agriculture, Hon Meka Whaitiri an email demanding a ban on greyhound racing to be announced in 2022.

Ban Greyhound Racing Petition Handover

On 4 August 2021, SAFE and the Greyhound Protection League of New Zealand handed in the 37,700 signature petition, calling for a ban on greyhound racing in Aotearoa. Guest speakers included Green Party MP and Animal Welfare Spokesperson Chlöe Swarbrick and Labour MP Hon Priyanca Radhakrishnan, who accepted the petition on behalf of the Government. We were also joined by several stylish greyhounds in a variety of fashionable jackets to keep out the winter chill, accompanied by their passionate greyhound-loving humans. Thank you to everyone who signed and shared the petition and travelled from far and wide to join us for this momentous event. We couldn't have done it without you.

With the Government review of the industry now underway, we look to bring this outdated and cruel industry to an end. We are hopeful that animals dying for gambling profits is viewed by Government as being unacceptable and results in an immediate ban.

Gone but not forgotten

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.

In the 2020/2021 season, 31 dogs were killed as a result of their race day injuries. The collar pictured here was presented alongside the Petition to Ban Greyhound Racing in New Zealand. It contains 31 tags, engraved with the names of the dogs who lost their lives for gambling profits.

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."

Ricoh
"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.

Take Action 

Demand a Greyhound Racing ban announcement in 2022

Send the Minister for Racing, Hon Grant Robertson and Associate Minister of Agriculture, Hon Meka Whaitiri an email demanding a ban on greyhound racing to be announced in 2022.  

This week, the Minister for Racing Hon Grant Robertson, announced that the New Zealand greyhound racing industry is ‘formally on notice’ until the end of 2022 after repeatedly failing to improve its animal welfare standards. In the last five years, the greyhound racing industry has been responsible for the deaths of almost one thousand dogs according to their own records.  In 2021 alone,  13 dogs have died from race day injuries, 78 have suffered broken bones and over 600 injuries have been reported.   

It is clear greyhound racing has lost its social license in New Zealand and we need our Government to stop delaying the inevitable. The greyhound racing industry has been given countless opportunities to clean up their act and they have proven time and time again that this inherently cruel ‘sport’ will never be humane.   

Key points you can make: 

  • While it is encouraging to see the greyhound racing industry has been put ‘formally on notice’ for repeatedly failing to take the welfare of dogs seriously, I would like to see a complete ban on this cruel practice announced before the end of 2022.  
  • New Zealand’s revolutionary Animal Welfare Act 1999 is meaningless if greyhound racing is allowed to continue in Aotearoa. In 2021 alone, 13 dogs have died from race day injuries, 78 have suffered broken bones and over 600 injuries have been reported.  
  • The greyhound racing industry has been given countless opportunities to clean up their act and have proven time and time again that this inherently cruel ‘sport’ will never be humane. Please stop delaying the inevitable and announce a ban on greyhound racing.  

This email will be sent directly to Minister for Racing, Hon Grant Robertson and Associate Minister of Agriculture. Emails are public information, if you would like to withhold any of your information please write so in your email. 

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