Nine greyhounds have died after racing at Whanganui's Hatrick Raceway in the last nine months, sparking animal welfare concerns.
Eight of the dogs either died or were euthanised after injuries suffered as a result of racing.
The other was the death of Tui Tonight that Greyhound Racing New Zealand (GRNZ) originally told the Chronicle was not related to racing, but the group subsequently confirmed they couldn't rule out racing playing a part in the injury.
A 10th dog, My Pablo, was also euthanised due to a ruptured stomach, but GRNZ said this was due to the animal swallowing a sharp object, and not racing.
GRNZ's Racing Operations and Welfare Manager Michael Dore told the Chronicle in a statement the organisation was committed to ensuring the welfare of all animals involved in the sport, with the condition of the track one of the most significant factors in animal safety.
"GRNZ appointed a track advisor to oversee the preparation of consistent racing surfaces and on his recommendation, manufactured and deployed specialist track groomers around NZ," Dore said.
"Whanganui's was delivered around Christmas time and training took place in January. Of the eight track-related deaths at Whanganui, six occurred prior to the groomer being in operation. Also in April, GRNZ, in association with the Whanganui Club, replaced the starting boxes at the track."
But the deaths have led to animal rights advocacy group SAFE to call for the closure of the raceway.
"Over Christmas, five dogs were killed in the space of a month at this track, and MPI refused to close the track for an investigation," spokesperson Will Appelbe said.
"The buck stops with the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI)."
MPI said while aware of concerns at the track, it was confident in the steps that GRNZ had taken.
"We are aware of reported animal welfare concerns at the Hatrick Raceway and MPI made contact with Greyhound Racing New Zealand in January this year," a spokesperson said.
"Greyhound Racing New Zealand advised that it would commission work to improve the safety and suitability of the Hatrick Raceway, and that work has been completed. MPI will continue to monitor the property."
Green Party spokeswoman on Animal Welfare, Chlöe Swarbrick, said she was preparing a members bill that would ban the sport altogether.
"Time and again, the industry argues that it loves these dogs," Swarbrick said.
"I would hope that anyone who loves their dogs would have learnt from nearly 20 years of broken legs and ankles, ruptured stomachs and trauma that, just maybe, they should stop doing the same thing over and over again."
Racing Minister Grant Robertson is awaiting the delivery of a report commissioned in April into animal welfare and safety in the sport.
That report is expected to be completed at some point this week.
At the time of announcing the review, Robertson said he was not satisfied that GRNZ was doing enough to improve animal welfare or providing enough information about the steps it was taking to remain accountable.
National Party racing spokesman Ian McKelvie said his party's position was to await the findings of the review.
"It's certainly unsatisfactory to be having the number of greyhounds destroyed that we are, and we're very disappointed. But at the same time, I think we've got to go through a due process," McKelvie said.
"I know Greyhound New Zealand have been working hard on resolving the issue, but they haven't [solved the issue], so that's the challenge we've got.
"The figure is very disappointing, and we've certainly got some challenges with the configuration of greyhound tracks in New Zealand to some extent. You could get a preferable racing track to the type we've got in New Zealand,"
Meanwhile, Dore said GRNZ was making progress on animal welfare.
"Since September 2019 there has been a new team in place at GRNZ and making racing safer has been our top priority, and we feel that we have made good progress," he said.
"GRNZ will continue to seek advice and make improvements whenever and wherever possible."
Greyhound deaths at Hatrick Raceway
The first of the animals died in September when greyhound Big Time Clare was euthanised after an injury to its hock.
Fourteen days later, greyhound Thrilling Ivy fell during a race and had already died by the time a vet looked over the animal.
Another two deaths occurred on November 13 and December 18 - with Sedgebrook Comet and Taiapu both euthanised due to fractures suffered during racing.
After this point, five deaths occurred during an 18-day period.
Greyhound Tui Tonight raced on December 30, but after showing signs of distress after returning to its kennel, it was diagnosed as suffering volvulus, or a twisted intestine and was euthanised.
Two days later, Born Quick was euthanised after fracturing a hind tarsal bone.
Four days after that, Novo Ollie suffered a fracture during a race trial that resulted in euthanisation. Racing was suspended that day due to an uneven track sparking concerns for animal safety.
On January 15, Opawa Troy was injured during racing, and underwent X-rays which determined a positive prognosis, but the dog died during surgery.
One July 9, Big Time Frosty was euthanised after suffering a serious fracture to the right tibia.