Greyhound animal welfare report published

20 December 2017


A review commissioned by the New Zealand Racing Board (NZRB) to monitor progress on animal welfare initiatives in the greyhound racing industry shows good progress in some areas but also identifies further work is still required as the industry continues to improve welfare.

The review, conducted by the Honourable Rodney Hansen CNZM QC, has tracked progress in the greyhound industry following an initial report in 2013 which highlighted a number of areas where welfare improvements were necessary.

“Animal welfare is of utmost importance and we must remain vigilant in ensuring all of our animals are treated with the greatest care,” says NZRB Chair, Glenda Hughes.

“The New Zealand Racing Board thanks Hon Hansen for undertaking the review.  The findings provide a progress marker for work to date and a blueprint for the greyhound sector for years to come.

“NZRB recognises that positive progress has been made by the greyhound sector since the initial report, particularly in the areas of track safety, the formation of the welfare committee, and work undertaken with external agencies such as the RSPCA and NAWAC.

“We are encouraged by the commitment by Greyhound Racing New Zealand (GRNZ) to continue to prioritise animal welfare and its proactive response to address all recommendations in the review,” says Hughes.

“NZRB has noted there remains a number of areas for further improvement, and we have discussed directly with GRNZ and the Racing Integrity Unit (RIU) how these may be addressed and how NZRB can support their work to deliver these actions.

“In particular, NZRB shares Hon Hansen’s concerns regarding the registration/deregistration of dogs, euthanasia rates and the ability of the industry to rehome retired animals, population management, and the ongoing safety of animals while racing.

“NZRB will be continuing to proactively and regularly monitor and support the work by GRNZ, RIU, and greyhound industry participants; it is important that we all work together to ensure the welfare of our valued animals,” says Hughes.




About the report

  • The New Zealand greyhound racing review was commissioned in November 2016 by the New Zealand Racing Board to review the systems and processes relating to the breeding, racing and life cycle tracking of greyhounds bred in New Zealand and imported into New Zealand as well as best practice to be followed in the management of the retirement of greyhounds.
  • The review was undertaken by the Honourable Rodney Hansen CNZM QC - a mediator, arbitrator and former High Court Judge who retired in 2014 - with the administration managed by the RIU.

  • The review was inquisitorial and public submissions were not called for, however Hon Hansen consulted with a number of industry and interested parties in the process of his review.

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