Calls for greyhound racing to be suspended after dog killed, five others injured in single day

Source: 1News

Animal rights organisation SAFE is calling for greyhound racing to be suspended until the Government's latest review into the industry is complete.

Racing Minister Grant Robertson said today that despite some progress, the industry still has a way to go.

It made the call after one greyhound was killed and five others were injured in a single day of racing in Auckland yesterday. 

SAFE said greyhound Paris End was euthanised after falling during a race and suffering several fractures at Manukau Stadium. 

It said five other greyhounds suffered "significant injuries" on the same day, which included fractures, dislocated joints and strained hocks.

"How many more deaths will it take before the Minister steps in?" spokesman Will Appelbe said. "Every day they race, dogs are at risk of injury or death."

SAFE says since January, nine dogs have been killed and 395 dogs have been injured, including 54 with broken bones.

"Even one death is one too many. Between the deaths, injuries, and the recent doping scandal involving methamphetamine, we’re seriously concerned about the welfare of dogs in the racing industry," Appelbe said.

"Grant Robertson needs to act now. Suspend racing and protect these dogs until the review is complete."

Last month, Robertson said he was  "not satisfied" with the industry's progress  in implementing recommendations to improve animal welfare, sparking the latest review. 

In a statement, CEO of Greyhound Racing New Zealand Glenda Hughes says Sunday's race "appears to be an outlier".

"We continue to work on all aspects of our racing to ensure the safety of our dogs. We will be assessing all angles of the race day at Manukau to ascertain if there is any identifiable cause for Sunday as this appears to be an outlier.

"Over the last 4 months, we have had two euthanisations (one of which was Paris End in the Sunday Race) due to race day injuries in over 14873 starts. This is the equivalent of 10 starts per dog."

The Greyhound Protection League is currently running a petition asking Parliament to ban greyhound racing .