Greyhound handler facing several charges for animal abuse
Wednesday 14 June 2023, 11:45AM
A licensed greyhound handler - already charged earlier this year after a greyhound tested positive for methamphetamine - now faces several charges relating to animal abuse, including throwing a greyhound into a swabbing kennel, causing them to hit their head on the back of the kennel, and picking up a greyhound by the neck and throwing them away from the lure.
The trainer indicated they would defend the charges, but was absent from the proceedings. A witness described the behaviour at the swabbing kennel as intimidating and causing the dog distress. The trainer was also observed, "yanking on the lead, swearing at the dog and telling the dog it "had been a major f…..g pain in the a.. all day".
SAFE Campaign Manager Anna de Roo said the case was incredibly distressing.
"The callousness of the treatment these greyhounds received is shocking," says de Roo.
"This is what happens when greyhounds are treated like commodities. How many more cases like this need to happen before the industry is shut down? The longer we wait, the more dogs will be harmed."
The Racing Integrity Board had already banned the handler from greyhound racing for 15 months after a dog tested positive for methamphetamine.
The greyhound racing industry is under significant pressure for its poor animal welfare record. The latest review industry review from the Racing Integrity Board highlighted an upwards trend in injuries, slow responses to track safety concerns and stated that, "many of the concerns are as relevant today as they were 10 years ago."
"Four separate reviews over 10 years have all uncovered significant animal welfare concerns. New Zealanders are behind a ban with 74% saying they would vote to ban the industry in an independent poll. The Racing Minister urgently needs to make a decision on the future of this harmful industry, or else greyhounds will continue to suffer."