Greyhound deaths likely going unreported - animal rights campaigner

Calls for the greyhound racing industry to be shut down are growing louder.

A Newshub investigation has found 24 dogs have been killed in the first half of the year due to injuries on racing tracks.

SAFE Ambassador Hans Kriek says it's time for the industry to pack its bags and go.

"The reality is that these dogs are pushed to their limits. It's a cruel sport. These animals lost their lives for nothing. And really, you only have greyhound racing because people can gamble on them."

Greyhound Racing New Zealand says the current injury rate here is 15 per every 1000 starts, but wouldn't answer Newshub's question whether euthanising 24 dogs in six months was higher or lower than usual.

In February this year at the Wanganui track a greyhound collapsed with a leg fracture. And in January, in the Waikato, another dog started limping and fell to the back. Both needed to be put down.

Mr Kriek says the sport is cruel.

"It's an industry that thrives on animal cruelty, and any industry where animals get killed, animals get injured, doesn't belong in New Zealand."

And he wouldn't be surprised if the true number of euthanised dogs was higher.

"What's reported is probably what happens on the racetracks - but what happens during training is most likely not reported. It's certainly not in the industry's interest to show how many animals really get injured and die."

The industry says it is taking action to make it safer for greyhounds on the track.


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