Twenty-four greyhounds euthanised this year already

Six months after a damning report on the greyhound racing industry, Newshub has discovered another 24 dogs have been killed after being injured on racing tracks.

Most were euthanised after breaking part of their leg. But the industry says it is working to reduce injury rates.

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.

Newshub trawled through racing reports and found 24 dogs had been euthanised in the six months from January this year.

Most had fractured hocks or other leg injuries.

Gareth Hughes, Green Party's Animal Welfare Spokesperson said it’s not acceptable.

“I think this is tragic and shocking news. No dog should be dying for people's entertainment or a reason to gamble.”

The Greyhound Protection League's Emily Robertson said racing greyhounds are prone to injuries.

"Obviously when they are travelling at such high speeds, any bends that they're having to undertake quite quickly can cause enormous stress on their joints," Ms Robertson said.  

The 24 dog deaths follow the Hansen Report, which found 1290 dogs were euthanised over recent seasons and hundreds more had simply gone "missing".

But the industry says it's taking action. It has undertaken a number of steps including: Monitoring tracks for moisture levels to ensure they're safe. Undertaking more track maintenance, seeking expert advice on improving track design, and new post-race injury rules mean trainers have to report any concerns they have about their dogs.  

Mr Hughes said the proof is going to be in the pudding.

"We are yet to see whether these improvements are bearing fruit."

Ms Robertson added long term it's not really a tenable industry and had no social benefit.

Newshub asked Greyhound Racing NZ if 24 dogs being euthanised in six months was a fairly typical rate, or higher or lower than normal. But we didn't get a response.

They did however say in a statement that the current injury rate here is 15 injuries per 1000 starts, which is lower than the rate in New South Wales and Victoria in Australia.


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