The Government has put the greyhound racing industry on notice following a review of animal welfare and safety in the industry.
“Sir Bruce Robertson carried out a thorough review of the industry, meeting with interest groups from both within greyhound racing and outside. He also met with individual trainers and breeders,” says Grant Robertson.
“His report makes it clear the social licence to operate the sport of greyhound racing is under challenge. He concluded that if Greyhound Racing New Zealand - GRNZ - wants to secure its future it must demonstrate the decency of the industry, but it has made its job harder by unnecessarily obfuscating information and pushing back against those with an interest.
“All information should be recorded and it should be available. Arguably GRNZ has data to support its stances on the issues raised in Sir Bruce’s report but it is seen as unwilling to share it,” says Robertson.
There are three fundamental issues that still need to be addressed. They are data recording, transparency of all activities, and animal welfare generally.
“I am asking the Racing Integrity Board to identify a specific set of indicators over each of the three headings above that will be used to assess the industry’s progress, reporting back to me before the end of 2022.
“This is shorter than the period Sir Bruce has recommended but I believe the urgency of the matters raised in the report justify that.
“I want to be clear today – the greyhound racing industry is on notice: either make the improvements needed or risk closure,” says Robertson.
The Associate Agriculture Minister Meka Whaitiri says she welcomes and supports the recommendations from Minister Robertson.
“The Improvements needed from the greyhound racing industry must be taken seriously. The welfare of Greyhounds must be a key focus for the industry,” says Whaitiri.