Media statement : Greyhound Racing Board welcomes report

Greyhound Racing New Zealand has welcomed the publication of the second external review of animal welfare in the sport.

The review, undertaken by Rodney Hansen QC, looked at progress on welfare over the four years since the first report by WHK in 2013.

The governing body, Greyhound Racing New Zealand, says it is actively working on all 20 recommendations in the report. It says that some can be implemented relatively quickly, while others will require further research and time, working with other governing bodies.

“We have made significant progress since 2013,” says Chair, Sean Hannan. “Rates of rehoming are up and injury rates are down. We have a strong independent welfare committee that includes the RNZSPCA and the NZVA, and we’ve also tightened up our welfare rules considerably.”

“We appreciate, and share, the concerns raised by the report. Animal welfare is one of the cornerstone priorities within our new strategic plan released in May this year. Many of the recommendations contained within the report are initiatives that we have already commenced work on, and in some cases addressed.”

“We are and will be making significant new investments in rehoming and in population management tools in particular. This, along with tougher rules, more enforcement, and continued track safety initiatives, will bring euthanasia and injury rates down even further.”

“But we’re not complacent. We acknowledge and accept that there are still areas where real improvements are imperative. We are committed to addressing those areas and have today published a three-year plan showing exactly how we plan to tackle the gaps identified.”

By 2020 Greyhound Racing New Zealand will have:

● Delivered equilibrium in the greyhound population through the use of our new population management tool
● Implemented a new database
● Implemented an annual census of greyhounds in NZ
● Implemented an additional greyhound fostering programme
● Annually published the key data across breeding, euthanasia, racing opportunities and rehoming.

“We’re very committed to openness and transparency in relation to our welfare initiatives, data collection and reporting moving forward,” he says.

“Animal welfare remains at the core of our operating focus. In 2016/17 financial year, just over one fifth of our operating budget was allocated to animal welfare. In 2017/2018 this has increased to over a quarter of our budget, which is reflective of our commitment to this work."

Read the full report here
GRNZ's Response to NZRB can be found here (including our detailed plan for the 20 recommendations)
The GRNZ Media Pack can be found here (including executive summary of our response, and 3 fact sheets about the sport)
NZRB's Media Statement can be found here

Posted on 20/12/2017 10:13:12 AM

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