Racing Minister gambling with dogs’ lives in unnecessary and self-imposed delay

The Green Party is concerned with reports that the Racing Minister is kicking decisions on the future of greyhound racing until after the election.

“This is a bizarre concession to an industry who’ve spent the past ten years persistently failing to meet animal welfare standards,” says Green Party animal welfare spokesperson Chlöe Swarbrick.

“As long as the greyhound racing industry continues, dogs will unnecessarily die and be injured. These deaths and injuries are not a bug, they are a design feature.

“The Government has all the evidence it needs to make the decision that this practice does not belong in Aotearoa New Zealand - one of just a handful of countries in the world which continues to allow it. We’ve had three reports in ten years that have told them things are not getting better. This is why the Government stated it was putting the industry ‘on notice’ in 2021.

“Independent polling commissioned by the SPCA found 74% of New Zealanders would support an end to greyhound racing if it was put to referendum.

“Parliament’s own Petitions Committee reported last year with cross-party consensus that there are ongoing, serious issues with the industry.

“That Parliamentary report outlines doubts about whether the greyhound racing industry still has a social license to operate in its current form, and serious concerns about the way the industry is operating at present.

“The Minister’s decision to kick the can down the road will mean more unnecessary dog deaths and suffering. It will mean more time for the industry to continue to lobby for even more extensions.

“The only barrier to action is the Government itself. The Minister can change his mind and bring his paper to Cabinet. He can and should also publicly release the information and evidence he’s currently sitting on so New Zealanders can form an understanding of his priorities - or lack thereof - on animal welfare,” says Chlöe Swarbrick.

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