Welfare Committees

Greyhound Racing New Zealand (GRNZ) is committed to ensuring that greyhound welfare, safety and care are a key focus for all participants in the industry. Accordingly, GRNZ has established two committees to provide expert advice on welfare matters. These committees work collectively to mitigate any negative welfare or safety concerns for greyhounds and promote positive welfare outcomes across the lives of all greyhounds to ensure that greyhounds experience a good life through racing and into retirement. 

Animal Health and Welfare Committee

The Animal Health and Welfare Committee (AHWC) monitors greyhound health and welfare, and provides independent expert advice to the GRNZ Board to advance the care and wellbeing of our greyhounds.This includes recommendations for changes in protocols, rules and standards that will benefit the wellbeing of all racing greyhounds from birth to adoption.

In 2021, the AHWC was revised to include members with specific technical and scientific skills to produce contemporary Greyhound Welfare Standards which ensure the optimum health and welfare of racing greyhounds.

The Committee will liaise and consult as required with all relevant external bodies who have responsibility under New Zealand’s legislation including the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and the SPCA. The Committee may seek advice from MPI and SPCA in relation to any matters that may be pertinent to the ongoing care of racing greyhounds.

Committee Membership

Members of the AHWC are independent, qualified and recognised experts and provide factual advice and guidance to the industry to ensure its progress. The Committee comprises of:

- Dr Allen Bryce – Independent veterinary consultant – Independent chair
- Dr Kat Littlewood – Veterinarian, Expert in animal welfare, Lecturer, Massey University
- Dr Dave Matheson – Veterinarian
- Dr Philip Morrison – Veterinarian
- Edward Rennell – Greyhound Racing New Zealand – Chief executive
- Dr Michelle Ledger – Greyhound Racing New Zealand – Welfare manager
- Nick Ydgren – Racing Integrity Board – Observer
- Paula Lemow – Ministry for Primary Industries – Observer
- Peter Mason – National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee – Observer
- Dr Sally Cory – New Zealand Veterinary Association – Observer

Terms of Reference

The Committee’s Terms of Reference were updated in May 2024. Under the Terms of Reference, the SPCA and other guest member specialists may be invited to attend the Committee meetings, at the discretion of the Chair. In addition, GRNZ will consult separately with the SPCA on a broad range of greyhound welfare policy matters.

Meeting Minutes

The AHWC held its first full meeting in January 2022 and continues to meet bi-monthly with  ratified meeting minutes published on the Stakeholder Information page of this website.

Serious Injury Review Committee

In April 2022, GRNZ established the Serious Injury Review Committee (SIRC) which meets on a bi-monthly basis. The Committee reviews all serious injuries and  analyses contributing factors and underlying risk factors that occur during races and official trials. 

SIRC makes recommendations to the GRNZ Board and the AHWC on interventions and mitigations on actions which seek to or reduce the impact of known injury risk factors and prevent future racing injuries.

Committee Membership

Membership of SIRC comprises of the following:

- Dr Michelle Ledger – Greyhound Racing New Zealand – Welfare manager – Chair
- Edward Rennell – Greyhound Racing New Zealand – Chief executive
- Michael Dore – Greyhound Racing New Zealand – Racing manager
- Bill Wilson – Greyhound Racing New Zealand – Racing safety and infrastructure manager
- Nick Ydgren – Racing Integrity Board – Director welfare
- Colin Hodson – Racing Integrity Board – Insights lead
- Independent veterinarian
- Experienced greyhound trainer