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Thursday, May 6, 2021

Govt puts bite on greyhound racing industry

The Government has today announced a review of animal welfare and safety efforts in the greyhound racing industry.

“While Greyhound Racing NZ has reported some progress in implementing the recommendations of the Hansen Report, recent incidents show the industry still has some way to go to achieve the appropriate standards,” said Racing Minister, Grant Robertson.

“I have informed Greyhound Racing NZ that I am not satisfied the recommendations are being implemented in a way that is improving animal welfare, and with their failure to provide sufficient information on changes they are making,” he said.

“It is the responsibility of the industry to hold itself accountable and ensure the best possible standards of welfare for greyhounds. Should the review show that progress has not been sufficient, a further fundamental look at the greyhound racing industry may be required,” Grant Robertson said.

Sir Bruce Robertson has been appointed to lead the review. Sir Bruce is a former senior judge and the current Chair of the Racing Integrity Establishment Board. Minister Robertson said Sir Robertson’s judicial background and prior experience with the wider industry made him well qualified to lead the review.

The Associate Agriculture Minister, Meka Whaitiri said the review would be completed by August 1 to allow the incoming Racing Integrity Board to pick up any changes from the start of the new racing season.

“I had written to Greyhound Racing New Zealand suggesting that they may wish to continue regular progress reporting on the recommendations from the Hansen Report,” Minister Whaitiri said.

“That suggestion was not acted on and this review will now address these matters.”

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