Greyhound Racing Protest, 9 June, 2021

Today at our greyhound racing protest Lonia, Anna, Betty and I were joined by Rob McNeil, an animal activist from Canada currently staying with me, and Alison Hollard, who has protested horse races with us before.  As with horseracing, greyhound racing is a very regulated and stylised business. There are 127 pages in their Rules and Constitution! The procedure before, during and after a race is as follows: Several minutes before a race is scheduled to start, the trainers muzzle their dogs, give them a massage so they are less likely to incur an injury, fix a lead to their collars, and parade them in single-file halfway around the track to the starting box. At the end of the race when the lure is grinding to a halt and the excited animals jump on top of it and each other, they rush forward to quickly retrieve their dog and lead or carry them away from the melee.

In one of the photos Rob took today you can see trainers strongly pulling dogs by their collars, and one dog has their neck in an awkward, twisted position. In another photo you can see a dog being swooped up and carried with one arm. I think this must have been uncomfortable for the dog, wrapping two arms around them would surely hurt them less. In the past at this track Anna has also seen dogs being roughly handled, including ‘duck walked’. I don’t know why we should be surprised at such behaviour. After all, the trainers put the very lives of their dogs at stake each and every time they enter them for a race.

Today at Hatrick AHUROA LADY was found by the vet to have bruising to the right hind gracilis muscle, and FLIP IT sprained their left hind hock, with x-rays recommended by the vet. There is no justification for this outdated activity to continue, especially as all over the world interest in it as a ‘sport’ is hugely waning. New Zealand is one of only a handful of countries in the entire globe that still allows it. 

The racing greyhound has a very hard life. How on earth is it OK to treat animals so poorly? Why isn’t our NZ Animal Welfare Act enforced, in this, as in many other instances? From condoning the abomination of factory farming to the use of innocent animals for entertainment and profit, our NZ Animal Welfare Act is a sham.  Here in Whanganui, at one of the oldest racing tracks in NZ, we tell they greyhound’s story, and show their pictures. We will not accept that man’s best friend be treated in such ways, and hopefully you will not either. If you haven’t signed Aaron Cross’s petition, please do so here. And keep an eye out for the progress of Green MP Chloe Swarbrick’s bill to ban it for good. 

Greyhound Racing Protest - How Is This Okay?
Sandra Kyle
Sandra Kyle is a retired polytechnic lecturer and part time music teacher living in Whanganui, New Zealand. She has been a vegetarian for nearly fifty years, and a vegan for ten. Sandra has been active for animals since the 1990s, and has written or co-written many articles and opinion editorials on animal rights. In 2018 she self-published a book, ‘Glass Walls’, calling for the closure of all slaughterhouses in New Zealand by 2025. Sandra produced and presented an award winning animal rights radio show, ‘Safe and Sound’ for four and a half years, and has been interviewed on mainstream media, who have dubbed her ‘The Singing Vegan’, as she sings to the animals waiting in pens at the slaughterhouse. Sandra is currently one of two Country Liaisons for The Save Movement in New Zealand, and in 2019 a short film — ‘2025’ — was made about her solitary slaughterhouse vigils. Sandra was the recipient of The Philip Wollen Animal Welfare Award in 2018, and has her own website, endanimalslaughter.org. In 2021 she was nominated for the ‘Assisi Award’, named after the Patron Saint of Animals, St Francis of Assisi.