Animal rights organizations are upset by the New Zealand government’s $72.5 million COVID-19 emergency support package for the racing industry due to their treatment of horses and greyhounds.
In a 2017 independent review of animal welfare in the greyhound racing industry, 1,447 dogs were found to have been euthanized between the 2013/14 and 2016/17 seasons, while 1,271 dogs were unaccounted for.
“We’re appalled that New Zealanders’ taxes are to be used to prop up a dying, cruel industry,” Aaron Cross, spokesperson for the Greyhound Protection League of New Zealand told Newshub. “There is no public information on the killing and injuries of horses in racing and what the greyhound racing inquiries revealed was utterly appalling.”
The amount of dog deaths has alarmed many people, and there are calls for the entire industry to be banned.
“We’ve seen numerous scandals, including a dog a day being killed in this industry last year alone,” said Animal Welfare spokesperson Gareth Hughes, according to Newshub.
Horse racing has also faced a lot of criticism after the Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses (CPR) estimated 2,500 deaths in the 2018/19 racing season due to “haemorrhages, cardiac arrest and other injuries caused from being forced to race,” Aya Oba, CPR spokesperson, told Newshub.
What adds salt to the wound for the animal activist organizations is what they believe is a lack of priorities from their government…
Pharmac, New Zealand’s Crown entity that gives New Zealanders access to medicines and medical equipment, has only been given a small fraction of financial support to help during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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