Eight greyhounds have been euthanised since December 18 after sustaining racing injuries. This includes five in Whanganui at what animal rights organisation SAFE is calling a ‘death track’.
SAFE spokesperson Will Appelbe is calling on the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) to immediately close the Whanganui track for an investigation.
"While Kiwis enjoyed their unstoppable summer, the greyhound death toll has soared over the last three weeks," said Appelbe
"The five dogs killed at the Whanganui racetrack is appalling and warrants an immediate investigation. The buck stops with MPI and they must intervene."
This surge in greyhound deaths is the latest blow to the greyhound racing industry, after it was found 47 dog deaths weren’t included in the industry's last annual report. Minister responsible for animal welfare Meka Whaitiri declined to comment on the discrepancy.
"Greyhounds are the only dogs New Zealand doesn’t seem to care about. But we care, and we expect more from the animal welfare establishment."
"Greyhound racing is dangerous, and these dogs belong on someone’s couch, not the racetrack. A ban on greyhound racing is long overdue."
GREY2K USA Worldwide, the largest global greyhound advocacy organisation, has recently joined SAFE and Greyhound Protection League's campaign to end greyhound racing in New Zealand.
GREY2K President and General Counsel Christine A. Dorchak said, "As long as dog racing continues, greyhounds will suffer and die. It is time to shut down this cruel track and every track in New Zealand."