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Another Greyhound Death Highlights Urgent Need To End Racing

Yet another dog has died on New Zealand’s racetracks, prompting a renewed urgency in the calls for an end to the greyhound racing industry.

On 24 May, Rapido Scud tragically died following a race at Hatrick Raceway in Wanganui. The dog collapsed at the lure and was pronounced dead upon returning to the kennel block. An autopsy is pending to determine the cause of death.

SAFE Campaign Manager Emma Brodie says this is far from an isolated incident.

"This heart-wrenching incident follows closely on the heels of the deaths of two other dogs, Jovita and Palawa Queen, who suffered catastrophic fractures at Addington Raceway in Christchurch just eight days prior and had to be euthanised."

"In fact, since the greyhound racing industry was formally put on notice on 2 September 2021 for repeated animal welfare failings, there have been 2529 injuries, 268 fractures, and 25 deaths."

Adding to the industry's woes, on 23 May 2024, the Racing Integrity Board published charges against trainer Jack Johnson for failing to present greyhound Big Time Heaven free of the prohibited substance arsenic. Following a race at Addington Raceway, Christchurch, on 11 March 2024, Big Time Heaven was found to have unsafe levels of arsenic in her urine, attributed to her ingestion of significant amounts of plywood housing.

Arsenic exposure is linked to serious health issues in dogs, including cardiovascular problems, vomiting, diarrhoea, lethargy, and even death. Johnson has been fined $1000 and suspended from racing for 12 months.

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The Government is expected to decide in the coming weeks if the industry has a future.

"It is deeply upsetting that dogs continue to suffer catastrophic welfare outcomes while we await the government's decision on the future of the industry," says Brodie.

"Furthermore, the recent charges against Jack Johnson demonstrate that even outside of racing, greyhounds in this industry are subjected to neglect and confinement in harmful conditions."

A recent poll commissioned by the SPCA found that 74% of Kiwis would vote to ban greyhound racing in a referendum.

"Public sentiment on greyhound racing is clear; it does not align with the values and expectations of society."

"We urge Racing Minister Winston Peters to take decisive action and call time on greyhound racing in Aotearoa to protect these gentle animals from any further harm."

© Scoop Media

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