On 24th May 2024, a greyhound named Rapido Scud died in a race at Hatrick Raceway, in Whanganui, Aotearoa, after collapsing at the lure. This incident has prompted animal protection organisations to renew their call for a greyhound racing ban in the country. The day before this tragic death, the Racing Integrity Board fined trainer Jack Johnson $1000 and suspended him from racing for 12 months after his greyhound Big Time Heaven was found to have unsafe levels of arsenic in her urine after a race at Christchurch’s Addington Raceway.

Emma Brodie, campaign manager of SAFE (Save Animals From Exploitation), said to RNZ, “This heart-wrenching incident follows closely on the heels of the deaths of two other dogs, Jovita and Palawa Queen, who suffered catastrophic fractures at Addington Raceway in Christchurch just eight days prior and had to be euthanised. In fact, since the greyhound racing industry was formally put on notice on 2 September 2021 for repeated animal welfare failings, there have been 2529 injuries, 268 fractures, and 25 deaths…It is deeply upsetting that dogs continue to suffer catastrophic welfare outcomes while we await the government’s decision on the future of the industry. We urge Racing Minister Winston Peters to take decisive action and call time on greyhound racing in Aotearoa to protect these gentle animals from any further harm. Furthermore, the recent charges against Jack Johnson demonstrate that even outside of racing, greyhounds in this industry are subjected to neglect and confinement in harmful conditions.”

In March, three dogs died in one week, and Greyhound Racing New Zealand suspended racing for five weeks at Manukau Stadium because of a “concerning increase in injuries.” A recent independent poll commissioned by the animal welfare group SPCA showed that 74% of New Zealanders would vote in favour of banning greyhound racing.

Jordi Casamitjana
“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.