Source: MIL-OSI Submissions
Source: SAFE NZ
Details of a case where harness racing trainer Jesse Alford was caught administering dangerous substances to two horses were revealed at a Judicial Control Authority for Racing hearing this week.
SAFE spokesperson Will Appelbe said given the seriousness of the crime, the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) should be pursuing criminal charges under the Animal Welfare Act.
“The Judicial Control Authority is run by the racing industry,” said Appelbe. “It’s a kangaroo court. Serious animal cruelty belongs in a court of law.”
The Judicial Control Authority for Racing hears proceedings bought by the Racing Integrity Unit and can only issue fines and disqualify people under the Racing Act. It would be up to MPI to seek criminal charges under the Animal Welfare Act.
This is the racing industry’s fourth doping case in six months. Most recently, greyhound trainer Angela Turnwald was fined and disqualified for four months after her dog Zipping Sarah tested positive for meth. MPI didn’t bother to investigate initially, but is now looking into the case.
“If horse and greyhound racing fell under normal animal welfare rules, these people would face hefty fines, possible jail time, or both.”
“MPI should not be leaving the racing industry to police themselves. The mistreatment of animals is a serious offence under the Animal Welfare Act, and MPI should be pursuing criminal charges in cases like this.”
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– Last month the greyhound trainer Angela Turnwald was fined $3,500 and disqualified for four months after their dog Zipping Sarah tested positive for methamphetamine. The Judicial Control Authority for Racing’s judgement from the case stated that “methamphetamine is a potent central nervous system stimulant which poses significant animal welfare issues” and the level of drugs in the dog’s system was “was particularly large.” In the short term, meth can enhance performance, however there are serious side effects, including increased agitation, aggression, seizures, renal failure and even death. This was the third doping case in the greyhound racing industry in the last six months, and the second to involve meth.
– Last month, the Government announced a review of the greyhound racing industry, following reports from SAFE, the Greyhound Protection League and Grey2K USA Worldwide of ongoing cruelty within the industry. In the announcement, the Minister for Racing Hon Grant Robertson said he was not satisfied the industry was improving animal welfare, and that Greyhound Racing New Zealand had failed to provide sufficient information on changes they are making.
– The Greyhound Protection League is running a petition, which asks Parliament to pass legislation to ban greyhound racing and to require all dogs that have been bred for racing be rehomed and rehabilitated.
– Photos of dogs rescued by the Greyhound Protection League.
– Greyhound racing is legal in only seven countries. A ban in the Australian Capital Territory came into force in April 2018, followed by a ban in Florida, USA, in November 2018. Since Florida is home to 11 of the USA’s 17 active dog tracks, this is a signal that greyhound racing is about to become a thing of the past in the United States.
– Information about greyhound racing in New Zealand.