There are 2,478 greyhounds racing, or training to race, at six tracks in Aotearoa.1
An October 2022 survey commissioned by SPCA New Zealand found that 74% of New Zealanders would vote to ban dog racing and that only 9% believe that greyhounds have a good life.2 This poll was preceded by a Greyhound Protection League petition signed by over 38,000 people urging New Zealand Parliament to outlaw dog racing.3
Between the 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 racing seasons, there were 1,737 injuries, 268 cases of greyhounds being destroyed due to “aggression,” illness, or injury and a further 160 deaths due to accident, illness, or natural causes.4
In the 2021-2022 racing season, over 4,900 races were run.5 The greyhounds racing in New Zealand are both bred in-country and imported from Australia. Between 2016 and 2022, 1,223 greyhounds were imported from Australia, supplementing the thousands born at the country’s nine breeding kennels.6
The 2017 “Report to New Zealand Racing Board on Welfare Issues Affecting Greyhound Racing in New Zealand” by High Court Judge Rodney Hansen found that 1,447 greyhounds were destroyed between 2013-2014 and 2016-2017.7 Data provided by Greyhound Racing New Zealand confirm that an additional 1,350 greyhounds were destroyed from 2017-2018 thru 2021-2022.8
In May 2023, two damning Racing Integrity Board reports were released providing two specific "closure options." Continuing problems were highlighted and key concerns raised, including high injury rates, overbreeding, and an unsustainable adoption system, persistently unsafe racing conditions, — all prompting Racing Minister Kieran McAnulty to put dog racing "on notice" and to state that the status quo is not an option.9 Animal protection group SAFE concluded that change is long overdue and “many of the concerns (found in the new RIB Reports) are as relevant today as they were 10 years ago.”10
Drugging is also a problem in the New Zealand racing industry. The Racing Integrity Unit found forty-nine greyhound drug positives from 2014-2022, including four for methamphetamine. The Judicial Control Authority identified morphine positives as well.11
Bets on dog racing may be placed at the track and also through off-site betting outlets. In 2022, NZ $612 million (US $369.5 million) was wagered on New Zealand races.12
Greyhound racing in New Zealand is governed by the New Zealand Racing Board, a government body formed in 2003 under the Racing Act. The Racing Board reports to the New Zealand Minister of Racing. The New Zealand Greyhound Racing Association, also known as Greyhound Racing New Zealand (GRNZ), is the organization that represents the greyhound racing industry and organizes its activities.
New Zealand races are currently broadcast domestically and internationally to Australia and other countries.13
Learn more about dog racing in other countries
RNZ - TAB deal gets government approval, greyhound racing still on notice
NewsHub - Could greyhound racing be banned? New report triggers uncertainty
Scoop Independent News - A Greyhound Will Face Full Tail Amputation Following A Race Meeting In Christchurch
NZ Herald - Another meth-positive dog prompts SPCA to call for end to greyhound racing
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Sign petition to save greyhounds in New Zealand
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Sign petition to ban dog racing in New Zealand!
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New Zealand Adoption Groups
Southern Cross Greyhound Adoptions
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