Two trainers banned from greyhound racing after leaving dogs in 'abhorrent' conditions

Two trainers have been banned from greyhound racing for two years for seriously mistreating dogs at their Taranaki property.

Inspectors found the greyhounds living in what they called "abhorrent" conditions and the case has reignited calls for greyhound racing to be banned.

In June, the Racing Integrity Board visited a property in rural Taranaki where it found 15 greyhounds living in squalor.

"They found 15 dogs in appalling conditions, they were standing in their own excrement,

food and waste had not been cleared away, there was excrement through their coats," SAFE media manager Will Appelbe told Newshub.

Greyhound Racing NZ's Glenda Hughes said the dogs were taken away from the property as soon as she found out about them.

"Immediately after I was informed of the conditions, I had someone go straight there and pick those dogs up."

The Racing Integrity Board said it was inexcusable for them to be kept in such squalid conditions.

"This is the most recent example of very clear neglect, it is extremely concerning," Appelbe told Newshub.

The owners of the dogs, Kimberlee Williams and Trent Agent, were fined $2000 and banned from greyhound racing for two years.

"I made a mistake. I took full responsibility for them," Williams said.

Williams told Newshub she usually looks after the dogs.

"I clean their kennels basically every afternoon and I had to… that morning I fed them and left them because they were perfectly fine in their kennels, and I had to go and get calves out before we had some flooding."

Animal advocates said this is another example of why greyhound racing should be banned.

But the industry disagrees.

"No matter where you are, you will always have things that go wrong, and on this particular occasion, it showed that the system actually worked," Hughes told Newshub.

The industry was put on notice in 2021 following welfare complaints.

Racing Minister Kieran McAnulty said he has no desire to ban racing but agreed the mistreatment of greyhounds is distressing. 

He wants to see major improvements by the end of this year.