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Time to call time on greyhound racing – Rachel Boyack

The Labour Party is calling on the Government to ban greyhound racing.

“The greyhound racing industry has been on notice for a long time, including three reviews in the last decade into greyhound racing practice,” Labour’s animal welfare spokesperson Rachel Boyack said.

“Despite this there have been few improvements and an unwillingness to change, and as a result the industry has lost its social licence to operate. There have been thousands of injuries to greyhounds and a number of deaths since the industry was put on notice by the Labour Government in 2021.

“The Labour Government gave the industry two options – operate under stricter conditions or face a ban. The lack of progress on straight tracks and failure to improve animal welfare systems to avoid injury and death in our view shows that continuing under strict conditions is no longer viable.

“There was a delay to the report being taken to Cabinet last year off the back of Cyclone Gabrielle, which meant the previous Cabinet never got to consider it. Labour’s Caucus has now considered the issue.

“Their time is up. It is time for the Government to ban greyhound racing.

“New Zealand is one of only six countries that still allows greyhound racing. A number of other countries have banned the practice, and it is time we followed suit,” Rachel Boyack said.

Section 10 of the Animal Welfare Act requires owners to ensure that their dog’s physical, health, and behavioural needs are met. This includes protecting them from significant injury. Under section 28A, people may not recklessly ill-treat dogs so that they are seriously injured or impaired, permanently disabled, or they die or need to be put down.

During the election campaign, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon agreed that greyhound racing should be banned.

“Greyhound Racing New Zealand has had every chance to demonstrate they can operate without unnecessary death and injury. They have not taken it. I am calling on the Prime Minister to act urgently and ban greyhound racing, to protect more greyhounds from being injured and killed, and protect the integrity of the wider racing industry which takes animal welfare seriously and contributes significantly to the New Zealand economy,” Rachel Boyack said.

 

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