Council urged to reject Greyhound racing proposal on public land

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Sep 20, 2021 |

An animal rights organisation is calling on the Christchurch City Council to reject Greyhound racing on its land.

Greyhound Racing New Zealand has made a proposal to lease land at QEII Park to build a new racetrack.

The two other proposals for the 4-hectare section of land include a multi-sport training and entertainment complex and a range for the Christchurch Archery Club.

The council will decide on one of the three proposals, but a community board will decide whether to request formal proposals from each of the three groups.

SAFE spokesperson Will Appelbe said the council and the community board should reject GRNZ’s proposal.

“This is an industry that injures and kills hundreds of dogs every year for gambling profits. There are far better uses for QEII park, like the other two proposals.”

He said “the east Christchurch community deserves better. This track will be used to broadcast dog races on Trackside TV. This proposal doesn’t serve the community, as it’s unlikely that local ratepayers will get any use out of this racetrack.”

Racing Minister Grant Robertson recently put the greyhound racing industry formally on notice following the release of the greyhound racing review.

In his review, Sir Bruce Robertson reiterated that by its nature, greyhound racing is inherently dangerous.

This was a point also made in the 2017 Hansen Report.

“Considering that the greyhound racing industry is on notice, it would be unwise for the Council and Community Board to consider a new racetrack at QEII Park. GRNZ’s proposal should be rejected” Will Appelbe said.

In a submission to the latest review on the industry Greyhound Racing New Zealand claimed “the current participants in Greyhound racing are extremely aware of the importance of their social licence, and have prioritised animal welfare. They have also taken action and invested heavily in the life and wellbeing of their dogs. Actions taken and the resulting changes are evidenced in this report including the major reduction in the number euthanised.”

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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