To date, eight greyhounds have died at racetracks this season, with five of the eight deaths occurring at Addington Raceway. (file photo)
Footage of a greyhound race was edited to remove a fall that resulted in a dog being euthanized.*
Greyhound Epic Addi was diagnosed with a broken leg and soft tissue damage after racing at Addington Raceway in Christchurch on Tuesday.
The steward’s report for the race states that the dog was euthanized for humane reasons due to the “catastrophic nature” of the injury.
The crash was later removed from the race video. Another race video was recently edited after a similar injury at Manawatu Raceway in March, according to animal rights organization SAFE.
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Spokesman Will Appelbe said eight greyhounds have died at races so far this season, including five at Addington Raceway.
SAFE accuses the racing industry of a transparency problem.
“There are some skeletons in the closet of the industry that GRNZ is doing its best to hide,” Appelbe said.
But broadcaster TAB Trackside, which manages race footage, said he and TAB NZ have a longstanding policy regarding race falls and injuries in either horse or greyhound racing.
“While the event is being broadcast live, every effort will be made not to show replays of the incident as part of our immediate post-race coverage,” TAB Trackside said in a statement.
“Footage shared on a race code’s website will be edited together by our editing team and where possible, a crash causing injury will be removed appropriately.
“Occasionally, racing code may require an incident to be removed from video playback if not picked up in the editing process.”
Greyhound owners come together to show how beautiful the breed can be away from the track. (Video first released June 2019)
The primary reason for removing repeats of a fall is to relieve the stress on the connections of the horse or greyhound or the family of an injured rider or jockey, TAB Trackside said.
“Information on the outcome of a fall or injury to an animal competitor or person is available in the Racing Integrity Board grantee reports, which are released at the end of the race day.
“These reports are available to the public on the Racing Integrity Board website and through the relevant code websites to ensure transparency in racing incidents.”
The latest incident comes as one of New Zealand’s top greyhound trainers is being investigated by a racing regulator after dogs from his kennel reportedly turned up at a placement facility with injuries.
Canterbury resident John McInerney, who runs Homebush Hounds in Darfield, also faced charges for failing to meet GRNZ’s health and welfare standards.
“The industry is under increasing pressure, but rather than acknowledging and addressing its issues, GRNZ continues to operate with a lack of transparency about the harm and pain it inflicts on dogs,” Appelbe said.
“Animal welfare issues have been on the radar for the greyhound racing industry for nearly a decade, and yet we still see dogs being put at risk either on the track or in the kennels.”
Racing Secretary Grant Robertson has previously officially informed the industry.
“We think the evidence speaks for itself. He has to make the call and ban greyhound racing,” said Appelbe.
* CORRECTION: A previous version of this story stated that the footage was edited by Greyhound Racing New Zealand. The race material is managed by the broadcaster TAB Trackside. (Modified 10:25 p.m. May 12, 2022).