The RIB commenced an investigation in mid-March 2022 as a result of a referral from GRNZ about animal health and welfare concerns relating to 11 greyhounds taken to a Christchurch rehoming facility two months earlier on 14 January 2022.
A comprehensive investigation, including assessment of veterinary records by an independent veterinarian, has determined that one of the deregistered greyhounds had an injury that should have been diagnosed earlier by Mr McInerney prior to it being taken to the rehoming facility.
Once diagnosed by a veterinarian after the greyhound had been left with the rehoming facility, veterinary advice was not followed exacerbating the injury.
The remaining ten greyhounds met acceptable standards of welfare according to independent veterinary advice.
The greyhound had two partial toe amputations and has since been rehomed. Because the greyhound was deregistered in late 2021, Mr McInerney could not be subject to a charge under the greyhound racing health and welfare standards.
In making a decision not to charge Mr McInerney, the RIB considered the circumstances in conjunction with legal advice. Mr McInerney has been formally warned and advised that regardless of the racing rules, all greyhounds in his care are expected to receive the same high level of care.
In respect of deregistered greyhounds in the control of licensed persons GRNZ is reviewing their rules as a priority in consultation with the industry and the RIB.
The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) conducted their own assessment of the McInerney kennel when images of the greyhounds delivered to the rehoming facility first emerged earlier this year. They found no animal welfare issues with the greyhounds they inspected.
MPI has also been provided with a copy of the RIB investigation report into this matter.
Both of Mr McInerney’s kennels have been subject to RIB audits in the 2022 calendar year, during which each greyhound was assessed by an RIB employed veterinarian. Although tooth decay was found in some greyhounds, this was quickly rectified, and no other animal welfare issues were detected.
The RIB takes its animal welfare role very seriously and will investigate accordingly. The first priority when concerns are raised is the welfare of the animals.