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Greyhound Protection League Of New Zealand Expresses Grave Concerns Over Safety At Addington Raceway

The Greyhound Protection League of New Zealand (GPLNZ) is raising alarm bells over significant safety concerns at Addington Raceway in Christchurch. The track, which was temporarily closed on 26 September 2023 due to safety issues, has since reopened for racing on 17 October 2023.

GPLNZ has been closely monitoring the situation and is troubled by the evident spike in major injuries among greyhounds.

Emily Robertson, spokesperson for GPLNZ, stated, "The numbers are alarming – 27 badly injured dogs in just 21 race days, with one tragic death. This cannot be ignored and flies in the face of GRNZ Chairman Sean Hannan's assertion in their recently released annual report that ‘Today, animal welfare is at the heart of everything we do’.

According to data extracted from GRNZ's own website, the injury rates at Addington Raceway have escalated significantly. From 0.67 major injuries per race meet between 01 August 2023 and 26 September 2023, the rate has surged to 1.0 major injuries per race meet from 17 October 2023 to 08 December 2023.

“The injuries documented include broken bones, major muscle tears, Achilles tendon tears, and, distressingly, the euthanasia of a greyhound named Big Time Blazer due to the catastrophic nature of the compound fracture to the right radius/ulner.” Ms Robertston said.

The safety concerns are further accentuated by the fact that the track closure coincided with GRNZ's recruitment drive for what appeared to be an entirely new track curator team. The job advertisements, remarkably, did not mandate qualifications or previous experience in Racetrack or Turf Management, Horticulture, or Agriculture, even for the Senior Track Manager role: these would simply be “well regarded”.. The emphasis was on tractor operation, computer skills, and a passion for working outdoors.

“It is past time we stopped gambling with the lives of greyhounds in Aotearoa. We call on Prime Minister Christopher Luxon to make good on his emphatic ‘yes’ to the question ‘should greyhound racing be banned?” in the TVNZ Leaders Debate on Thursday 12 October 2023, and end this brutal “sport” in New Zealand now,” Ms Robertson said.

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