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Top greyhound racing trainer faces methamphetamine and neglect charges

Wednesday 1 November 2023, 6:23AM

By SAFE For Animals

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One of New Zealand’s top greyhound trainers, John McInerney, has been charged by the Racing Integrity Board after one of his dogs tested positive for methamphetamine, and leaving another greyhound, Impressive Isla, suffering in pain and distress for five days. Impressive Isla was ultimately euthanised.

The same trainer was also investigated last year after handing 11 greyhounds over to a rehoming kennel, eight of whom presented with severe signs of neglect and mistreatment.

He has previously been prosecuted and fined after five of his dogs suffocated to death inside a van on a Cook Strait crossing. He has a long history of his dogs testing positive for banned substances, with incidents occurring in 1997, 2001, 2010, 2013, 2017, and 2023.

SAFE Campaign Manager, Anna de Roo, says the system is clearly not working and a ban on the industry is overdue.

"Greyhounds are abused again and again and by the same trainers, and the penalties do nothing," says de Roo.

"It’s not surprising that that both Labour and National committed to banning greyhound racing in the lead up to the election. It’s the only way to protect greyhounds."

de Roo underscores that these most recent charges that John McInerney is facing are part of a broader pattern of abuse within the greyhound racing industry.

"Just 4 months ago another trainer was charged after throwing a greyhound with enough force that they hit their head on the back of a kennel, and throwing another greyhound a metre from the lure. This trainer also had a previous methamphetamine charge."

"The industry is rife with harm and abuse. Once greyhounds are treated as commodities, animal welfare goes out the door."

The public overwhelmingly supports a ban on the industry with an independent poll stating 74% of New Zealanders would vote to ban greyhound racing in a referendum.

"The end to greyhound racing can’t come soon enough. Incoming Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has already committed to banning greyhound. As soon as a new Government is formed, they must take urgent action to protect greyhounds."