Racing Minister says Hansen report findings are disturbing

  • Rt Hon Winston Peters

Racing Minister Winston Peters says the findings of the Hansen Report on greyhound racing are disturbing and deeply disappointing.

 In November 2016 the NZ Racing Board commissioned an independent review into greyhound racing.  The review, conducted by former High Court Judge Rodney Hansen QC, was released today.  It makes numerous recommendations to improve greyhound racing welfare.

 “When the welfare of greyhounds should be paramount, the Hansen report has revealed rates of dog euthanasia, the numbers of “unaccounted” for dogs, and low numbers of rehomed greyhounds which are simply unacceptable,” said Mr Peters.

 “While the industry has taken steps to improve greyhound welfare it still has a long way to go to clean-up the sport. It is not tolerable having some owners giving the rest a bad name.”

 “This week I made a point of meeting with the NZ Racing Board in person to coincide with the board receiving the Greyhound Racing NZ response. The industry was left in no doubt just what dismal view the government has of this,” he said.

 The greyhound industry has advised it has already initiated a work programme. It intends to implement most if not all of the Hansen report recommendations.

 “These recommendations deserve close attention. Serious improvement is required particularly on kennel inspections, dog tracking, approvals regime before a dog can be euthanised, track safety, dog rehoming, and stricter enforcement of the dog health and welfare standards,” said Mr Peters.

“In 2006, when previously Racing Minister, I launched the first Greyhounds As Pets adoption scheme.  It is disappointing the industry is still grappling with these underlying issues,” he said.