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Non Raceday Inquiry RIU v B Goldsack and R Goldsack - Written Decision dated 2 August 2019 - Chair, Mr N McCutcheon

Created on 07 August 2019

BEFORE A JUDICIAL COMMITTEE

OF THE JCA UNDER THE RACING ACT 2003

IN THE MATTER of the Rules of New Zealand Greyhound Racing Association (Incorporated)

BETWEEN RACING INTEGRITY UNIT (RIU)

Informant

AND Mr Brian Goldsack

Licensed Trainer

Respondent

BETWEEN RACING INTEGRITY UNIT (RIU)

Informant

AND Mr Ray Goldsack

Licensed Handler

Respondent

Information Nos: A7180, A7181

Judicial Committee: Mr N McCutcheon, Chairman – Mr T Utikere, Judicial Member

The Committee was in receipt of written approval from the RIU Manager Mr M Godber for the charges to be preferred.

Appearing: Mr S Irving for the RIU, Mr A Pandey representing Mr B Goldsack

HEARING 23 JULY 2019 AT HATRICK RACEWAY WANGANUI

WRITTEN DECISION OF JUDICIAL COMMITTEE

FACTS

{1} Mr Brian Goldsack, Licensed Owner-Trainer has been charged with an alleged breach of Rules 84, 87.5 and 62.1 of the Greyhound Racing New Zealand Rules of Racing and the Health and Welfare Standards (GRNZ Code of Welfare 2018). It is alleged that on 13 February 2019 being a Licensed Trainer failed to comply with the Health and Welfare Standards (GRNZ Code of Welfare 2018) and failed to provide proper care for a Greyhound under his control.

(Rule No. 87.5 was inadvertently shown on the charge sheet as 86.5. With the approval of all parties the Rule was amended to read 87.5. This was due to the Rule numbers being changed in the latest edition of the GRNZ Rules of Racing. There was no change to the wording of the Rule, only the number).

RULE 84 PROVIDES:

A Licensed Person shall at all times comply with the Welfare Code, in particular, and without limitation, the Licensed Person shall provide proper care and accommodation for the Greyhounds under his/her control and such accommodation shall be subject to the approval of the Association and be open to inspection by Officials or Stewards or Racecourse Investigators at any time.

RULE 87.5 PROVIDES:

The Trainer of a Greyhound is at all times responsible for the welfare and proper care of a Greyhound and shall at all times comply with the Welfare Code. This responsibility cannot be delegated to any other person at any time.

PENALTY PROVISION 63.1 PROVIDES:

Any person found guilty of an offence under these Rules shall be liable to:

a. A fine not exceeding $10,000.00 for any one (1) offence except a luring/baiting Offence under Rule 86; and/or

b. Suspension; and/or

c. Disqualification; and/or

d. Warning Off

{2} Mr Ray Goldsack Licensed handler has been charged with an alleged breach of Rule 62.1 of the Greyhound Racing New Zealand Rules of Racing. It is alleged that on 13 February 2019, he did a negligent thing in relation to a Greyhound, in that he left WATCH MY BACK unattended with a Barking Muzzle on being detrimental to the care and welfare of the Greyhound he was in charge of.

RULE 62.1 PROVIDES:

Any person (including an Official) commits an offence if he/she: (o) has in relation to a Greyhound or Greyhound racing, done a thing, or omitted to do a thing which is negligent, dishonest, corrupt, fraudulent or improper, or constitutes misconduct.

PENALTY PROVISION 63.1 PROVIDES:

Any person found guilty of an offence under these Rules shall be liable to:

a. A fine not exceeding $10,000 for any one (1) offence except a luring/baiting Offence under Rule 86; and/or

b. Suspension; and/or

c. Disqualification; and/or

d. Warning Off

{3} As both charges related to the same incident it was the Judicial Committee's decision to hear both charges together.

{4} The RIU called three witnesses viz, Mr G Whiterod the Chief Stipendiary Steward at the time of the alleged incident, Mr M Austin, Stipendiary Steward and Dr. Erin Carver, Veterinary Surgeon on duty at the said race meeting.

{5} Mr Pandey called two witnesses viz, Mrs J Goldsack the mother of Messrs B & R Goldsack and Mr B Goldsack.

{6} Mr Irving tabled photographs taken of the vehicle on 12 February 2019 used by Mr Goldsack to transport the Greyhounds, as exhibit 1 and New Zealand Greyhound Racing Association Incorporated Health and Welfare Standards as exhibit 2 and new MPI Regulations Exhibit 3.

{7} Mr Irving called his first witness Mr G Whiterod. A written evidential statement signed by Mr Whiterod was provided to all parties. Mr Whiterod proceeded to read the statement which contained the following:

{8}

1. I, Gavin John Whiterod of Levin, was employed by the Racing Integrity Unit (RIU) as the Chief Greyhound Steward.

2. I have been appointed under the New Zealand Rules of Greyhound Racing (the rules) as a Steward for over 20 years and have been a general Stipendiary Steward for over 33 years.

3. On Wednesday 13 February I was on duty as the Chairman of Stewards at the Wanganui GRC day meeting at Hatrick Raceway.

4. Sometime early afternoon, possibly around Race 5 (1.23pm) WGRC Manager Andrew Hansen came into the Stewards Room and informed me that a Greyhound was in a vehicle behind the grandstand in a distressed state.

5. I immediately requested via radio that the second Steward Mike Austin meet me at the vehicle after the impending race.

6. Following the Race Mike and I found the vehicle parked in the rear roadway behind the main stand.

7. There was a fawn dog in the boot of the vehicle.

8. I recognised the blue vehicle as belonging to Brian Goldsack.

9. I observed the dog through the windows of the boot.

10. The dog was distressed and wearing a barking muzzle which I could clearly see was too tight.

11. The dog was foaming from both sides of its mouth.

12. The dog's hair also looked semi damp as it had been sweating.

13. I could also see that there was little or no ventilation into the boot as there was a wooden partition between the boot and the back seat and no windows in the boot.

14. I immediately instructed Mike to locate Brian's brother Ray Goldsack who was in charge of the Goldsack dogs that day.

15. I returned to the Stewards Room before Mike and Ray returned to the vehicle.

16. I now know the dog to be WATCH MY BACK.

17. The dog was examined by Vet Erin Carver who advised me that WATCH MY BACK was suffering from heat stress and recommended the dog be scratched from Race 15 (4.32pm).

18. I believe I saw Trainer Brian Goldsack on track earlier in the day.

19. I spoke to him on track later in the day after the scratching and he told me that it was necessary to keep the dog in the vehicle with a muzzle on because it is a “nutter” or “it nuts off”.

20. He also commented that Ray was on his own that day with the dogs as he had to go to a medical appointment.

21. He didn't seem too upset with me that the dog had been scratched.

22. Race records detail that the Goldsacks had 8 race dogs entered that day, including WATCH MY BACK in the last race.

23. There were 15 races that day with the first race at 12.14pm and the last race at 4.32pm.

24. The Goldsacks had their first dog in race 2 at 12.31pm.

25. Kennelling times for the first 5 races was between 10.14 and 11.14am.

26. The Goldsacks had four dogs to be kennelled in the first session so would have arrived on course either prior or during that time.

27. Kennelling times for races 13 – 15 was between 2.46 and 2.51pm but dogs can be and are often kennelled earlier than the scheduled times.

28. I noted the incident in my Stipendiary Stewards Report for the meeting: WATCH MY BACK was observed by the Stewards to be in the back of a vehicle in an apparent mildy distressed state. The handler was called to the vehicle and the dog was taken to the kennels, examined by the Vet and was declared a late scratching from Race 15 with mild heat stroke and an elevated temperature. An inquiry was opened and adjourned into the matter.

29. The NZGRA Health & Welfare Standards, updated on 01 August 2018, details at Chapter 4.1: Collars and muzzles must fit comfortably without damaging the skin, causing swelling, or restricting breathing, panting, vomiting or drinking (refer to appendix 1). (Produce Exhibit 2).

30. Chapter 4.2 details: Only basket muzzles can be used, except when using a muzzle for therapeutic purposes including routine husbandry procedures.

31. Chapter 4.3 details: A muzzle used for the therapeutic purposes that restricts panting, drinking or vomiting must be used under constant supervision.

32. The policy also includes Appendix 1: Extract from the Animal Welfare (Care and Procedures) Regulations 2018. Clause 12(1)(d) Muzzles on dogs: the owner of, and every person in charge of, a dog that is muzzled must ensure that the muzzle does not prevent the dog from breathing normally, panting, drinking, or vomiting.

33. Clause 12 (2)(a) However the muzzle may be used if the muzzle is used under constant supervision to prevent injury to any human or animal during veterinary treatment or handling;

34. An advisory was gazetted by GRNZ under the heading “New MPI Regulations, (Produce Exhibit 3).

35. Chapter 6.9 of the NZGRA Health and Welfare Standards details that: Greyhounds must not be left in a vehicle in conditions where the dog is likely to suffer from cold or heat stress.

End of Statement.

{9} In answer to questions from Mr Irving Mr Whiterod said that photographs 1 and 2 of the photographs tabled as Exhibit 1) appeared to be of the same vehicle. Mr Whiterod then produced a barking muzzle and explained how it works when fitted to a dog. He said that the muzzle is fitted around the dog's nose area and secured over the top of the head area. He added that if the top strap is pulled too tightly the nose part of the muzzle shifts up the dog's nose and that that prevents the mouth opening and the dog breathing properly and also prevents the dog from panting and barking. He said that the muzzle on the dog on the day was made of leather material and that the one shown today was very similar to the one fitted on the dog on the day. Mr Whiterod said that when he looked through the window of the vehicle he could see that the muzzle was too tight and that the dog was prevented from panting or barking and was foaming from both sides of the mouth and that the dog was slightly wet and shining in the coat. He added that at the time the boot of the vehicle was not open and that the rear side windows were not able to be opened.

Mr Whiterod confirmed that he had retired from his position on 30 May 2019.

{10} Mr Pandey in cross examination put it to Mr Whiterod that could he confirm that photograph

1) showed that air could pass through the panel to both sides of the vehicle. Mr Whiterod said that that does appear to be correct.
Mr Pandey put to Mr Whiterod that the windows in the front of the vehicle would allow air to pass through to the back and that did he notice that the windows were open. Mr Whiterod said that he did not notice.

Mr Pandey said that if the Defendant said that the windows were down 4 inches in the front of the vehicle that you wouldn't say that that was incorrect. Mr Whiterod replied that he couldn't say that that was incorrect.

Mr Pandey then asked Mr Whiterod if he had discussed this matter with Mr Goldsack before he put the evidence to Mr Godber for a decision as to whether the charge should be approved. Mr Whiterod said that he had certainly spoken to Mr Goldsack and that he had spoken to Mr Ray Goldsack on the day.

Mr Pandey asked Mr Whiterod if he was aware that Mr Goldsack had tried to kennel the dog in the spare kennels at the Raceway prior to the dog having to be put back into the vehicle before Mr Goldsack had to leave the course for a medical appointment and leaving his brother (Ray) in charge.

Mr Whiterod said that he was not aware of that and no one had spoken to him about a request to kennel the dog anywhere on the racecourse.

Mr Pandey asked Mr Whiterod that before he put the evidence to Mr Godber for a decision, did he at any time attempt to get Mr Goldsack to give an explanation as to what the circumstances were to allow him to present the full position to Mr Godber as opposed to just stating that these are the facts, this is the charge, done deal.

Mr Pandey added that the way the Rules are written it makes this a culpable offence to which there is no defence. The decision whether to charge or not is subjective and that Mr Godber is authorised to accept the charge. He added that not everybody who finds themselves in a similar situation is charged otherwise there would be no racing as there would be ongoing litigation. He said that the only way Mr Godber could accurately decide whether the charge was appropriate or another form of sanction such as a warning, or any other action he chose was appropriate, would be if he had all the facts.

Mr Whiterod said that he believed from his recall of the matter, was that Mr Godber was given all the facts. He said the facts are that when he initially spoke to Mr Ray Goldsack and said to him that what had happened was unacceptable or words along the lines, that the dog had been left in the vehicle and had got into the state it was in by the fact that it had a barking muzzle on that was too tight that resulted in it showing signs of becoming overheated and distressed and that he told Mr Ray Goldsack that that was not acceptable. He said Mr Ray Goldsack's response was that the dog just “goes nuts” if it is locked up for too long in a kennel and that it “nuts off” and barks, and that that was his explanation as to why the situation was as it was. He added that that explanation was similar to that of Mr Brian Goldsack when spoken to later. He said that Mr Brian Goldsack did talk to him about the fact that it was not necessary to scratch the dog, as after being examined by the Vet it had improved its condition quite quickly and that it would have been okay to race. Mr Whiterod said that he disagreed that the dog could have raced in its distressed state and that the time between when they found the dog and the race time, it would not have been in the best interests of the welfare of the dog and the punters. He added that the facts presented to Mr Godber were very clearly given by him.

Mr Pandey said that he was not criticising Mr Whiterod's actions or the actions of the Vet as they were appropriate also.

Mr Pandey then said that there were a couple of oddities that happened on the day. He put it to Mr Whiterod that he swabbed 2 dogs that finished second in races 2 and 3 and that both dogs were trained by Mr Goldsack and that that put extra pressure on Ray Goldsack who was there by himself. He asked Mr Whiterod if he had asked Ray if he had checked the dog from when it was put into the vehicle which he believed was around 12.30pm and when the dog was discovered as being distressed around 1.25pm. Mr Whiterod responded by saying that he did not and added that he did not recall Ray making any comment to him that he was under time pressure and that the only thing that he said was that due to the nature of the dog it was required to be muzzled and kept in the vehicle until such time that it was to go to the kennels.

Mr Pandey asked if there were any other vehicles parked in the same area as Mr Goldsack's vehicle. Mr Whiterod said that there were other vehicles parked in the same area, some being officials’ cars, that club staff sometimes park there and that trainers like Mr Goldsack park in the area and that other vehicle that house dogs were also parked there. Mr Whiterod said that he had no problems with where Mr Goldsack's vehicle was parked.

{11} Mr Irving then put to Mr Whiterod that when looking at photograph 1), that in his opinion as a Greyhound Steward that with the rear window shut and with the front windows open would that provide sufficient ventilation. Mr Whiterod said that he could only speculate and guess. He said that if the dog was in the vehicle without a barking muzzle on it was possible that the dog would not have got in the same state as WATCH MY BACK. He added that it is a fact that a large number of trainers arrive in the course and have their dogs in vehicles in such a confined space and they appear to be fine, and that sometimes they will remain in the vehicle for an hour prior to being taken to the kennel area.

Mr Irving said that Mr Pandey had asked if you had asked Mr Ray Goldsack if he had checked on the dog throughout the day. Mr Irving then asked Mr Whiterod what his opinion was of constant supervision. Mr Whiterod said that if we were talking about a situation like this where a dog was in a vehicle for an hour or two and it had a barking muzzle on, constant supervision would be the act of a Trainer or Attendant returning to the vehicle and checking on the dog reasonably regularly. He added it is a well-known fact that the muzzle prevents the dog from barking and hopefully a dog will settle down, but obviously at times this does not happen.

Mr Irving then said to Mr Whiterod that your interpretation of constant supervision could be regular checks as opposed to constant supervision. Mr Whiterod said that he would not expect a Trainer or Attendant to be standing beside a vehicle constantly, but would expect the dog to be checked on periodically to see how they were handling the situation, especially on 13 February when it was a very warm day with a lot going on with dogs being collected and returned to vehicles and trailers parked nearby.

Mr Irving then asked if it was the responsibility of other Trainers to look after the welfare of another Trainer's dogs when left in the back of a vehicle. Mr Whiterod said that it was not their responsibility but that they do tend to involve themselves by occasionally reporting to Stewards if they have concerns about someone else's dog.

{12} Mr Utikere, Committee Member, said to Mr Whiterod that he had said that Mr Hansen had advised him that the Greyhound was in a vehicle. Mr Utikere asked Mr Whiterod how did Mr Hansen become aware of the situation, and that did he observe it himself or did someone else tell him. Mr Whiterod said that he was not sure but Mr Hansen told him that a dog may be distressed in a vehicle, but that no names were mentioned.

Mr Utikere said to Mr Whiterod that he had said the dog was distressed and that apart from it frothing at the mouth, how else did the dog indicate it was distressed. Mr Whiterod said that it was simply foaming from the mouth and that it also appeared to be sweating and that lead him to the view that it was distressed.

Mr Utikere asked Mr Whiterod how commonly were barking muzzles used on course. Mr Whiterod said the use was not a regular occurrence, but every raceday there would be a trainer wanting to kennel a dog with a barking muzzle and added that he could not say with accuracy how many are used on a day as records are not kept.

{13} The next witness for the RIU was Mr M Austin Stipendiary Steward who was on duty at the racemeeting in question. Mr Austin read through his signed written evidential statement which contained the following:

1. I Michael Ross Austin of Otaki and employed by the Racing Integrity Unit (RIU) as a Stipendiary Steward.

2. I have been appointed under the New Zealand Rules of Greyhound Racing (the Rules) as a Steward for approximately 12 years.

3. I Steward approximately 2-3 Greyhound Meetings a week, equating to about 130  Meetings per year.

4. On Wednesday 13 February 2019 I was the second Steward at the WGRC Meeting at Hatrick Raceway.

5. Early in the meeting, sometime around Race 5, I was at the boxes before the start of the race when I received radio contact from the Chairman of Stewards Gavin Whiterod.

6. He requested that I meet him at the rear alleyway of the grandstand after the race as he had received information that there was a Greyhound in distress inside a vehicle.

7. After the race I walked from the boxes around the southern end of the grandstand.

8. I met Gavin there at a blue Honda SUV with a fawn dog in the rear boot section.

9. There was no one with the vehicle and no one in the general proximity of the alleyway.

10. Upon closer inspection through the rear and side window I could see the dog was showing signs of distress.

11. It was salivating and attempting to pant but it had a barking muzzle on that was too tight – not allowing the dog to be able to pant or drink water.

12. I do not recall seeing a water bowl in the boot but even so the barking muzzle would have prevented the dog from drinking.

13. It was a pretty warm sunny day and there did not appear to be adequate ventilation in the vehicle.

14. The vehicle was in direct sun.

15. There was a wooden partition between the boot and the rear seat that went up to the roof of the vehicle.

16. The side windows of the rear seat were open slightly, approximately 10cm, the front windows were not open and the boot was closed.

17. There were no other Greyhounds in the vehicle.

18. I did not take any photographs of the vehicle or the dog.

19. Gavin and I both knew it was Brian Goldsack's vehicle.

20. Gavin asked me to go and find whoever was with the dogs and tell them to take the dog to the on-course Vet immediately.

21. I saw Ray Goldsack by the Club Office area and spoke to him about the dog's condition.

22. Ray said that he was by himself today and was on his way to collect the dog and take it down for pre-race kennelling.

23. I asked Ray who the dog was and he told me it was WATCH MY BACK.

24. I told Ray that he was to take the barking muzzle off the dog immediately.

25. He was not very complimentary towards me as he was visibly upset when I asked him to immediately remove the anti-barking muzzle off the dog in the back of their vehicle and take it to the Vet straight away.

26. I told him this is not the first time that the Stewards have spoken to Mr Goldsack Kennels regarding leaving dogs in hot vehicles in the last couple of months.

27. Ray responded by saying that he was on his own and was busy with all the dogs he had that day and why am I always picking on them. There were some other comments made towards me however I cannot accurately recall the exact words that he said, however he was attempting to justify why the dog was in the state it was in.

28. Ray took the dog down to the RIU Raceday Vet at the Kennels who was Erin Carver.

29. After examining the dog Erin advised that due to the dog's condition it was not fit to race and as a result it should be late-scratched from Race 15.

30. After I was advised of the late scratching I went to the kennel block and spoke with Erin.

31. The dog was reassessed later by Erin who cleared it and allowed it to be taken home by Ray.

32. At a later racemeeting at Wanganui on 27 February 2019 I took a photograph of the Goldsacks' vehicle in the presence of a Wanganui Security Guard who is a regular  Guard employed on racedays by the Club. Produce Exhibit 4).

End of Statement

{14} In answer to Mr Irving Mr Austin confirmed that he took photograph 3 which showed that the back partition had been replaced with a standard metal grille, and that photograph 2 shows a wooden partition had been in place the day before the raceday and that photograph 1 confirms that a wooden partition was fitted.

{15} Mr Pandey invited Mr Austin to look at photograph 1 and asked if the partition went to the top of the roof as he had said, and was that absolutely accurate. Mr Austin said that there was obviously a gap and added that on raceday he viewed it from the side only.

Mr Pandey said to Mr Austin that he had said that the side windows were open but that the front windows were closed. When you said that the side windows were closed, were you talking about the back side windows. Mr Austin said no, he was talking about the front side windows and that the two rear side windows were down a fraction.

Mr Pandey asked Mr Austin if he would accept that the windows were down 4 inches. Mr Austin said no.

Mr Pandey then asked Mr Austin why he did not take pictures (on raceday). Mr Austin said that at the time the dog was very distressed and that it did not enter his head to stand there and take photos, as his focus was on the welfare of the dog.

Mr Pandey put it to Mr Austin that it was not the first time that dogs had been left in the Goldsack vehicle and that he Mr Austin had spoken to Mr Ray Goldsack about the matter. Mr Austin said that that was correct.

Mr Pandey then asked why he was not charged on the previous occasions. Mr Austin said that he had spoken to Mr Goldsack on two occasions and that the circumstances were different. He said that he had previously spoken to Brian and Ray Goldsack about leaving dogs in a vehicle in warm weather, and that this situation was much different. He said that he had also had cause to speak to other Trainers from time to time.

Mr Pandey said was it fair to say that on those other occasions, would you have been justified in laying charges. Mr Austin said no he did not believe so.

Mr Pandey said that you have said previously that you had spoken to Trainers including the Goldsacks about dogs that you believe were too hot in a vehicle, but on those occasions you did not believe that a charge would have been warranted. Mr Austin said that that was correct and that it was a different set of circumstances on this occasion.

Mr Pandey said that he agreed so why reference it to Mr Goldsack at this particular point when he was going to be stressed by the circumstances he was about to be involved in, and that it could be seen as being provocative. Mr Austin said that Mr Goldsack did not know why he was approaching him and that when he asked him if he was aware of the situation that he had a dog terribly distressed in a vehicle, the conversation continued along the lines of this is not the first time we have spoken to you about this sort of thing and it is not good enough, and he obviously was not happy with what I had said to him. He said it could have been provocative what he had said, but it was not meant to be. It was meant to be that you need to do something about this type of situation and that it cannot keep happening. He said that Ray Goldsack did agree that the dog was there and he agreed that the barking muzzle was too tight.

Mr Pandey said to Mr Austin that it was not in his report that Mr Goldsack agreed that the barking muzzle was too tight. Mr Austin said no, but you are asking me a question and I am trying to answer it.

Mr Pandey said at that time he (Ray) would not have known that the muzzle was too tight as he had not had a look had he. Mr Austin responded by saying that he had left the dog in the vehicle and he had obviously put the barking muzzle on, and that when he spoke to Mr Goldsack he obviously knew what he was talking about.

Mr Pandey said but Mr Goldsack did not say that he had put the muzzle on too tight. Mr Austin said that he could not say that.

Mr Pandey said that that should be taken out, because if he did say that, he should be charged with very serious offences, as knowingly abusing a dog like that is unforgiveable, and added that he did not want Mr Ray Goldsack's actions taken out of context.

Mr Austin said that he did not need to do that, and that he was only trying to answer his questions.

Mr Pandey then put it to Mr Austin that he had been a Chief Stipendiary Steward at the races and how do you decide which dogs you are going to swab. Mr Austin replied that that has nothing to do with this case and I am not going to answer that question.

Mr Pandey said that did he find it surprising on this occasion that out of the 15 Races there were 11 swabs, 8 winners and 3 seconds and two of those seconds swabbed were Mr Goldsack's dogs in Races 2 & 3 and the 3rd second placing was a pre-race random swab and that the only dogs swabbed that were not winners were Mr Goldsack's.

At this point of proceedings the Chair said that this line of questioning was irrelevant, that it was the duty and responsibility of the Stipendiary Steward to select which Greyhounds are to be swabbed, and that the way they determine which dogs are to be swabbed is not open to question.

{16} Mr Irving then said just to clarify the windows of the car, you (Mr Austin) said in your evidence that the side windows of the rear seat were open slightly approximately 10cm, the question from Mr Pandey was could it be 4 inches, and that roughly my maths says 4 inches is equal to about 10cm. Can you just clarify that the side windows of the rear seat, what we call the passenger windows, which are slightly visible in photograph 3 to the left of the car, is the rear passenger window, and is that what you saw as being down 10cm. Mr Austin said that it was the passenger door window.

Mr Irving said as opposed to the front window, Mr Austin said yes. Mr Irving then said looking at photograph 4 which way was the vehicle facing. Mr Austin said photograph 4 shows the vehicle parked behind a silver vehicle and that it was the window facing the stairwell. Mr Irving said that the window facing you was the right hand rear passenger side. Mr Austin said yes, and he agreed that 10cm is approximately 4 inches.

Mr Irving asked Mr Austin in his opinion if the window was down 10cm and given the wooden partition in the boot, would there be adequate ventilation for a dog. Mr Austin said no.

In answer to further questioning from Mr Irving Mr Austin said that when he spoke to Trainers regarding dogs in vehicles it was in an advisory role, and he said that when Ray Goldsack took the dog out of the boot, he recalls that he (Mr Austin) had walked away several steps, and that Ray had walked the dog past him and that the barking muzzle had been removed.

{17} Mr Utikere asked Mr Austin if he had observed anything to mitigate the potential affect of direct sunlight on the vehicle. Mr Austin said no.

Mr Utikere then asked Mr Austin how long it took from when he arrived at the vehicle after being contacted by Mr Whiterod, to when Mr Ray Goldsack was located. Mr Austin said that it was most probably only 2 to 3 minutes.

{18} Mr Austin was asked by the Chair that when he saw the dog in the vehicle, how did he know the muzzle was fitted too tightly. Mr Austin said that the barking muzzle visually appeared to be far too tight with the dog drooling and it appeared to be trying to pant and that it was trying to poke its tongue out the side of its mouth. He added that he does see dog muzzles fitted every work day and that the muzzle fitted on this occasion was too tight.

{19} The RIU's third witness was Dr. Erin Carver Veterinary Surgeon who was on duty at the Wanganui Greyhound Meeting on 13 February 2019. Ms Carver read through her signed written evidential statement which contained the following:

1. I am a Registered Veterinarian with the NZ Veterinary Council.

2. I have a Bachelor of Veterinary Science degree from Massey University (BVSc 2002) and have practiced as a registered veterinary surgeon since this time.

3. I am employed by Vets on Carlton in Wanganui and am an on-course Veterinarian for race meetings at Hatrick Raceway, contracted to the Racing Integrity Unit and have been doing this for approximately 16 years, except for a break for a few years.

4. On Wednesday 13 February 2019 I was working at the Wanganui Greyhound Racing Club meeting as the race-day Veterinarian.

5. Sometime in the early afternoon the Greyhound “WATCH MY BACK” was presented to me for examination by Ray Goldsack.

6. When “WATCH MY BACK” was presented I noted that the dog was panting and hot to the touch and also had a wet head.

7. Ray stated that he had wet the dog's head as he was a bit hot and he was attempting to cool him down.

8. A normal pre-kennelling examination was carried out at which time I stated that the dog was very hot and if the core body temperature was elevated he would not be fit to race.

9. I used a digital thermometer to take the dog's body temperature which was found to be elevated to 39.9 degrees Celsius.

10. I took the temperature again to confirm that the body temperature was elevated.

11. A normal Greyhound temperature is around 38.5 degrees Celsius. It should not exceed 39.0 degrees Celsius.

12. I informed Ray that the dog had mild heat stroke and was not fit to race.

13. At this time “WATCH MY BACK” was kennelled in the secure kennelling area which is cool and I informed Ray that I would recheck the body temperature in 30 minutes to ensure it was dropping.

14. If the body temperature had not dropped and the dog was showing signs of stress my recommendation would have been that the dog was taken to a Veterinary Clinic and placed onto intravenous fluids and that active cooling measures be implemented.

15. I informed the Stipendiary Stewards that “WATCH MY BACK” was suffering from mild heat stroke and should be scratched from racing and a seven day stand down was given.

16. I completed a RIU Veterinarian Examination Form (#24225) and detailed the above.

17. After about 30 minutes the body temperature had dropped to 39.5 degrees and I was satisfied that the dog was fit to be released back to Ray to return home.

18. From the evidence provided to me I believe the cause of the mild heat stroke was a combination of hypothermia from the dog being unable to pant due to the application of a barking muzzle and the confinement in a vehicle with inadequate ventilation in a warm environment.

19. Dogs are very susceptible to heat stress in warm weather. They are unable to sweat to cool down and rely on panting.

20. Dogs lose 70% of their excess body heat by conduction (contact with a cool surface such as the floor of a kennel), radiation (losing heat off the body) and convection (transfer to surrounding cool air as it passes over the body). The other 30% is lost through  panting which increases the evaporation of body water into water vapour.

21. All of these mechanisms become less effective as environmental temperature and humidity rise.

22. Predisposing factors for heatstroke include any condition which reduce the ability of the dog to pant effectively (such as shutting the mouth with a barking strap) and confinement with limited ventilation or shade and water deprivation.

23. Even mild cases of heat stress (temperature above 39 degrees) may cause muscle cramps (lameness and reluctance to run) due to water and sodium depletion, weakness, anxiety and fainting.

24. Exertional heatstroke is well correlated with strenuous exercise.

25. Once the body temperature reaches 41 degrees or higher multiple organ dysfunction can result which can cause a range of symptoms from acute kidney failure to shock and death.

26. A dog suffering from even mild heat stress can quickly progress to severe heatstroke with the slightest exertion.

27. A dog can withstand a body temperature of 41 deg c for a short period of time but quickly suffers irreversible brain damage and death.

End of statement

{20} Mr Irving did not have anything to put to Dr. Carver.

{21} Mr Pandey asked Dr Carver is it correct that a dog does not sweat through its coat, and if you saw gleaming on a coat it would not be sweating. Dr Carver said that that was correct.

Mr Pandey said that moisture would have to have been applied. Dr Carver said correct.

Mr Pandey said that if the dog was restricted in its ability to bark by the application of a muzzle, would it also restrict its ability to get rid of heat from the mouth if it was on too tight. Dr Carver said correct.

Mr Pandey asked Dr Carver how long did she think a dog wearing a muzzle that was too tight and restricting its ability to pant, would actually last. Dr Carver said that it would depend on the temperature and the surrounding environment of the dog. She said that if it was in a cool area or a cool kennel, they can lose body heat especially with contact with a cool surface.

Mr Pandey then asked if it was in a cool situation like that how long would it last. Dr Carver said that she could not honestly answer that question.

Mr Pandey asked if a dog was not able to pant, and was in a hot condition which was not properly ventilated, how long would the dog last. Dr Carver said that it depended on the temperature outside and the temperature in the area of confinement, but that the body temperature would rise very quickly, particularly in a situation like a car, with the sun striking through the windows, the temperature would go up within minutes.

Mr Pandey said that when we are talking about a dog surviving and being restricted from panting we are not talking hours we are talking in terms of perhaps 5 minutes. Dr Carver said that she was not talking about survival, but the longer they go without being able to pant the less they will tolerate the situation and the quicker the body temperature will go up, and once the body temperature goes up they cannot lose heat by sweating as we do.

Mr Pandey said that on a hot day, if a dog was restricted from being able to pant and enclosed in a vehicle and had inadequate ventilation, would a dog incarcerated in such circumstances last an hour. Dr Carver said an hour is a long time and it would develop heat stress within that time.

Mr Pandey then said that if the outside temperature was 26 degrees how long would it last.

Dr Carver said that she could not remember the exact figures but that the SPCA had put something out in an article on heat stress etc. She said it would very much depend on how hot the car was. and how hot the dog got, and that every situation is different and that that question is impossible to answer.

Mr Pandey asked if a dog was in a hot environment for an hour what temperature would she expect it to be when she checked it. Dr Carver said that in her statement she said that anything over 39 degrees is elevated, so it would depend on how hot the interior of the car was and how hot the dog was, that there is no Rule but 39.9 is starting to get quite high and that if you do not treat them quickly the temperature continues to rise.

Mr Pandey said that you measured this dog's temperature at 39.9 and did you have any idea how long it had been left in the vehicle. Dr Carver said no, she could not comment on that, and all that she could say was that when she examined the dog pre-race between Races 10 and 11, the dog had an elevated body temperature and that it was unfit to race.

Mr Pandey said that given the extreme nature of the effect on the dog when it was restricted from panting, that in her mind when she examined WATCH MY BACK, would she have thought that the dog was in the condition it was for an hour. She said all she could say is that it was suffering from warm body temperature.

Mr Pandey asked if she saw the apparatus that constrained the dog while in the vehicle.

Dr Carver said that she did not.

Mr Pandey asked her who told her about the situation with the dog. Dr Carver said the Stipendiary Stewards. Mr Pandey put it to Dr Carver did she talk to either of the Goldsacks after the examination of the dog. Dr Carver said she did not, and all that she did was examine the dog before the race, then re-examine the dog and said that it did not need any more measures taken, and that it was fine to be discharged home. She said it returned to normal temperature because it was kennelled with a cold floor, able to pant and had plenty of cold water.

Mr Pandey asked if she formed any opinion on how long the dog may have been suffering given that it recovered relatively quickly. Dr Carver said no.

{22} Mr Irving asked Dr Carver when dogs do not sweat, is there any way that they have a wet appearance from being in an environment like the situation in question. Dr Carver said no unless they are cooled with water.

Mr Irving said that Mr Pandey said that the temperature on the day was 26 degrees. He said that he did have a document produced from Niwa which recorded the days temperature as midday 24 degrees, 4pm 24.3 degrees with humidity being 61-63 percent. Mr Irving produced the Niwa document.

{23} Mr Utikere asked Dr Carver that earlier on she had referred to the dog having mild stress and  heatstroke, and could she explain what kicks in where. Dr Carver said it is somewhat subjective, but that it had mild heatstroke and an elevated body temperature, with an elevated core body temperature which is capable of reducing on its own, and if the body temperature is over 40 degrees they are likely to suffer from seizures and hypothermic brain damage which would likely result in the death of the dog, and that they can go from one area of the spectrum to the other very quickly, and that with any strenuous exercise, particularly on a hot day, can go from one end of the spectrum to having a seizure and dying.

Mr Utikere then asked as an expert, would she be familiar with the Health & Welfare Standards issued by GRNZ. Dr Carver said she was.

Mr Utikere said in relation to the use of a muzzle, and that if we took the Niwa temperature on the day, where the standards that the muzzle is used, what would you define as being constant supervision. Dr Carver said that it would really depend on the type of muzzle. If it was a muzzle a dog could pant in (basket muzzle) then you could happily kennel them and leave them, but they would need checking on from time to time to see that all was okay. She said if it was a muzzle that closed the mouth, it would depend on the temperature on the day, and also a number of other factors as it would be denying them the ability to pant naturally. People underestimate how quickly a dog's temperature will go up.

Completion of RIU witnesses

{24} Mr Pandey called as first witness for the Defence Mrs Jane Goldsack the mother of Messrs Brian and Ray Goldsack. Mrs Goldsack said that she tends to WATCH MY BACK 4 times a day 7 days a week, and that she was very familiar with the dog.

Mr Pandey asked if there were any particular characteristics with WATCH MY BACK that might stand out and prove to be a problem at a racetrack where there are other dogs. Mrs Goldsack said that the big one was if there was anybody moving around with a male dog, she said WATCH MY BACK is a very macho dog, and that if anyone moves anywhere around the kennels with a male dog, he will carry on, that he gets very excitable and that at times she has had to hose the dog to shut him up.

Mr Pandey asked Mrs Goldsack if he is a dog that requires proper management. Mrs Goldsack said that he gets very excited and that it is a big make up of his character.

Mr Pandey asked if she had any problems when he is domiciled with you on your property besides the fact that he wants to challenge every male dog that he comes across. Mrs Goldsack replied no and that he is lovely with people and with females dogs he is fine.

In answer to a further question from Mr Pandey Mrs Goldsack said he needs to be treated with care and does not like being kennelled for a long time, and that if he had have been put in an away secured kennel on the day, he would not have had that trouble. She added he had such a wait and had to view other dogs being taken out of their vans and kennelled, that that was when the trouble would have started.

Mrs Goldsack concluded by saying that when she has the dog out, she does her best to keep away from male dogs otherwise there is trouble.

{25} Mr Irving asked Mrs Goldsack if there is any other form of muzzle other than the one that is in front of you that could be used. Mrs Goldsack said yes, barking straps.

Mr Irving asked if they were similar to the one he was holding. Mrs Goldsack responded in the affirmative.

{26} Mr Utikere put it to Mrs Goldsack that Ray Goldsack was responsible for the dog on the day, and did he know about the characteristics that you have spoken about. Mrs Goldsack responded by saying that Brian had arranged to put him in the kennels as they are there for dogs like him, and that if Brian did not have to rush to hospital it would not have happened. She said that Brian and Ray had been talking and that there was not a suitable kennel for him. She said that Ray had said to her, that he did not have time to get back to the vehicle as they had two swabs in a short time and that he was only able to do so much.

Mr Utikere said to Mrs Goldsack that what she had said was fine, but that he would like to know what Mr Ray Goldsack knew about the characteristics of the dog. She said that Ray knew it had to have that type of kennel, and that at prior meetings that arrangement had been in place.

{27} Mr Pandey's final witness was Respondent Mr Brian Goldsack. In answers to questions from Mr Pandey Mr Goldsack said that he took 7 dogs to the races on the day in question. Mr Pandey said that when you got to the races where did you go in relation to WATCH MY BACK and what did you do. Mr Goldsack said that they parked where they usually parked, the dogs were all emptied, all dogs were kennelled that needed to be, George (WATCH MY BACK) was emptied by the toilet boxes and then put back in the truck and given water. By the time that had happened the kennelling had finished and the dogs were set for the day. He added that he had a three-hour appointment at the Wanganui Base Hospital regarding hip replacement pre-surgery. He said that he then went to see the kennel stewards and the head steward, stating that he had a difficult dog and explained that the dog needed to be housed in the holding kennels in the main kennel block. He said he was declined by Linda, who is the head steward, and that she would not give him a kennel.

Mr Pandey said that did you stress the point about the dog. Mr Goldsack said that he told her 2 or 3 times about the dog and that he had to go away to the hospital. He said that Linda twice refused his request and that no explanation was given, and that she said no quite categorically, and that she would not enter into any further discussion, and that at the time the holding kennel cells which consist of 8, were being used by other Trainers with no questions asked.

Mr Pandey said to Mr Goldsack that you had every right to believe that when you arrived at the Races with a difficult dog, and in difficult circumstances, that there would be adequate facility at the raceway to cater for the situation. Mr Goldsack said yes, and that he had explained that he was trying to get the dog put out of harm’s way.

Mr Pandey asked if he had told Ray what he was going to do, and would Ray have had an expectation that this would not be a problem. Mr Goldsack said that that was correct, but that he had been flatly refused, and said that he did not have the dog with him when he went to see the kennel steward.

Mr Pandey said that after you had been refused and went back to the dog what happened next.

Mr Goldsack said that he went back down to watch WATCH MY BACK and gave him another walk and made him as comfortable as he could. He added that on his way back he spoke to Bill Hodgson (Trainer) and after explaining to him what had happened, he said that the best thing I could do was to put a barking strap on, and they are very good therapeutically and very good in the situation. He said that he put the strap on and left the track at 12.32pm that day.

Mr Pandey then showed a strap and asked Mr Goldsack if it was the strap used on the day. Mr Goldsack said no, but it was identical, and that is what was on the dog and not a barking muzzle.

Mr Pandey said was he right in thinking barking muzzles had been banned. Mr Goldsack said that some have been banned. He said that he applied the barking strap to the dog on Mr Hodgson's advice, to therapeutically calm the dog because the dog was going to get upset. He said that as soon as McInerneys had to start kennelling it would upset his dog.

Mr Pandey said that after the strap was fitted to the dog how restrictive was it on the dog's ability to pant. Mr Goldsack said that he had tested it (strap) on him before he left for about 25 minutes, that the dog had settled, and he was calm and lying down. He added that the strap does not restrict them in any way, shape or form. He said that when he left, the dog was comfortable and had just had a drink, and that the bowl was still there, and that that was why when the Stipendiary Stewards got there he was damp, because he had tipped it up and then lay on the water.

Mr Pandey said that you put the barking strap on and you stayed by him to settle him down. Mr Goldsack said correct.

Mr Pandey asked how long was that before you left. Mr Goldsack said that he was running late for the hospital but wanted to stay as long as he could, to make sure the dog was comfortable. He said that the clock showed 12.32pm and added that Race 1 was run and that he left the course and that the dog was fine.

In answer to further questions from Mr Pandey Mr Goldsack said that he returned to the track at approximately 2.30pm.

Mr Pandey then asked if he had briefed Ray before he left. Mr Goldsack said yes he had briefed Ray in that we had been declined to have access to the holding cells and that all he could do was put the barking strap on which Bill had recommended. He added that he said to Ray, you should be alright because I have worked out that you would be able to get back to the dog. However the two dogs got two placings and then they were called for a swab, and this required Ray to put the dogs into the swabbing box and had to get the next dog out, and that he had no time to get back to WATCH MY BACK. He said after that he could not get back, because it was physically impossible.

Mr Pandey said that you had a dog in Race 2 that was swabbed, and then you had two dogs in Race 3, and that one ran second, and that is why Ray had to take the unplaced runner and put him back, he said that Ray said that when he put him back, that the other dog was fine.

Mr Pandey asked Mr Goldsack to confirm that he has a vehicle with a trailer attached to it. Mr Goldsack confirmed that the trailer was attached to the vehicle at the time. He said that when Ray came back with the dog, he would have put it in the trailer because he would not have wanted to upset George (WATCH MY BACK).

Mr Pandey asked if he had spoken to Ray about what he did. Mr Goldsack said that he said that he was flat stick and could not get back. Mr Goldsack then added that the timeframe that the Stipendiary Stewards have allocated, he worked out that the dog was left unattended for 20-25 minutes.

Mr Pandey said that was it correct that he left around 12.30pm. Mr Goldsack answered in the affirmative.

Mr Pandey said that Ray would have checked on the dog after Race 3 when he put the other dog in the trailer.

Mr Irving objected to this line of questioning, and said that it was speculation, and that Ray could have been here to give evidence. The Committee was in agreement.

Mr Pandey then said that Race 4 was after 1pm and that you had a dog in that. Mr Goldsack said correct. Mr Pandey then said, and we know that Gavin Whiterod and Michael Austin attended the trailer about 1.23pm. Mr Goldsack said he believed that to be correct.

Mr Pandey said that you were parked near the vehicle near the McInerney kennels. Mr Goldsack said that that was correct.

Mr Pandey asked if the McInerney vehicle had dogs in it, that you believe had to be kennelled. Mr Goldsack answered in the affirmative.

Mr Pandey asked if they (dogs) would have passed your vehicle when being taken to the kennels. Mr Goldsack said correct, and that is why he had explained to Linda, because he knew it would excite the dog as soon as those dogs walked past.

Mr Pandey asked if it was Mr Goldsack's opinion that WATCH MY BACK was excited by those dogs. Mr Goldsack replied 100%.

Mr Pandey said that with the evidence of the Vet, that temperatures can rise very quickly. The dog was contained in a vehicle with a barking strap not a muzzle, for roughly 55 minutes. Have you had any experience with dogs having a barking muzzle applied so that they are restricted from being able to breath. Mr Goldsack said no.

Mr Pandey said that the dog was checked on and found to be agitated 50 minutes later. Mr Goldsack said that that is what he had been informed.

Mr Pandey said Mr Austin believed the back windows were down roughly 4 inches but what about the front windows. Mr Goldsack said that when he left the track all the windows were down approximately 4 inches.

Mr Pandey asked if there was anyone else who would have had access to your vehicle in your absence besides Ray. Mr Goldsack said originally I would probably say no, but with what has happened over the last few months I am not sure, but no one had rightful access.

Mr Pandey then asked how many of your dogs have been swabbed when running second. Mr Goldsack said that he has been racing for 15 years this time, and in that period, I have never had two dogs who have finished second one race after the other, being swabbed.

{28} Mr Goldsack then referred to the board partition and said that it was custom wood and that he had measured it up the top with gap being 90ml, and down the sides about 4 inches. Mr Pandey said was it easy for air to pass through any gaps and that it is very hard to make it airtight. Mr Goldsack said that now the steel partition is installed it has a gap of 4-5 inches.

{29} Mr Irving asked Mr Goldsack if he had spoken to either of the Stipendiary Stewards about what Linda had said earlier (non-availability of suitable kennel). Mr Goldsack said that no he did not and that once he got totally denied it made no difference, and that he did not have much time and that he was trying to keep the dog calm before he left for the hospital.

Mr Irving said that you said that the barking muzzle that was on WATCH MY BACK that day was a strap similar to this one (shown by Mr Irving). Mr Goldsack said correct, identical.

Mr Irving said that you were present when both Stipendiary Stewards gave evidence, that the barking muzzle they saw, was more similar to this orange one (shown by Mr Irving). Mr Goldsack said that he did not own one of those (barking muzzle).

Mr Irving asked why didn't he, through his counsel, question the Stipendiary Stewards. Mr Goldsack said that he wanted to speak earlier on but the Chairman had said that he could not.

The Chair then advised Mr Goldsack that he could have spoken through his representative.

Mr Irving said that both the Stipendiary Stewards gave evidence that the muzzle applied on the day was similar to the orange one (barking muzzle) and you are saying that the one used was similar to the yellow one (barking strap) and what do you say about that discrepancy. Mr Goldsack said that it is totally incorrect, anyone that knows my training and my dogs, that they have never seen one (barking muzzle) on my dogs. You can ask any trainer what restriction I use on my dogs and they will tell you this.

Mr Irving said that you said you left the racecourse around 12.32pm, and what instructions had you given Ray about WATCH MY BACK before you left. Mr Goldsack said that he told him that we were not allowed to put the dog in the holding kennel. I said I did not know what we are going to do, I have spoken to Bill (Hodgson) about this, I have put the windows down, and hopefully everything will be okay. Ray responded by saying that he would keep an eye on the dog as best he could, and it was left at that.

Mr Irving said that you mentioned the word therapeutic in your evidence, what do you mean by that. Mr Goldsack said it helps calm the dog but that he did not know the reason, and that barking straps are more therapeutic than other muzzles, including the one that got banned.

Mr Goldsack then said that if he had not put it on the dog, and my brother could not get back to the dog, the dog could have gone absolutely bananas. He said that he can go off the deep end and all I was trying to do was calm the dog the best that I could.

Mr Irving said that you referred to the partition as being custom wood, is that correct. Mr Goldsack said correct.

Mr Irving said that the wooden partition is clear in photographs 1 and 2, and that in photograph no. 3 the wooden partition has been replaced by the looks of some form of grille, is that correct. Mr Goldsack said correct and that he had been waiting for the steel to arrive for a few weeks.

Mr Irving then asked what was the purpose behind changing from the wooden one to the grille.

Mr Goldsack said two obvious reasons; 1) you have more sight so you know what is happening with the dog in the back, when you are travelling to Cambridge. 2) With the all the hassles that I have had with the dog, the main one was for visibility, because you can't see what the dog is doing in the back when you are travelling. Before that I had one with holes in it, but the dogs had chewed that.

Mr Irving said that photographs 1 and 2 were taken on 12 February and that the incident happened with WATCH MY BACK on 13 February. Photograph 3 taken on 27 February shows the partition has changed from custom wood to the grille. Mr Goldsack said that is correct and that he had been waiting for it to come, and if it had come earlier, it would have been done on the date of the said offence.

Mr Irving said that other than visual, are you referring to ventilation. Mr Goldsack said in one sense yes, but in saying that, if the dog have had been kennelled in the holding cell, we would not be in this position. He said that he had two dogs swabbed one after the other, and that he had never had any problems apart from that day.

Mr Irving then asked how long had he had the wooden partition without any problem. Mr Goldsack said that he had never had a problem and had had the vehicle for 15 or 16 months.

Mr Irving then asked, why then after 16 months, do you change it to a grille. Mr Goldsack answered because of visibility, especially on long distance travel, and that he likes to have full sight of his dogs. He said that if what happened with WATCH MY BACK had not occurred he would have still put the grille partition in place.

{30} Mr Pandey said at this time he would like to comment on the barking strap. The reason that it was not brought up previously was entirely his decision. I just asked Brian to explain the difference. I will also point out the apparatus that was produced by the Stipendiary Stewards who said they think it's something like that, and that they did not produce what they say was actually used. He said that would have been very easy to have been done, if they had just photographed the dog. Failure to properly record the evidence so that it was not in dispute is not Brian's fault. He said that he believed, that you have to accept that what Mr Goldsack is saying is correct, that this is what he uses, and that the Stipendiary Stewards got it wrong. They have not said that this is what he used, it was just something like this (barking muzzle). He said Mr Goldsack knows what he used and that that is what he used.

Mr Pandey said that the Stipendiary Stewards should have shown the apparatus to the Vet and said if it was a problem, or could have caused a problem.

{31} Mr Utikere asked Mr Goldsack in any event, where a barking strap is used, do you nonetheless accept that it still needs to comply with the Animal Welfare Regulations and consideration for constant supervision. Mr Goldsack said that he understood what he was saying and that he agreed. But on a raceday how do you give constant supervision. People are very busy out there with swabbing, injuries etc. There are days that the dogs sit in their vehicles for hour upon hour in different situations, with a barking strap or whatever, how do you define what is a relative time in that situation. On the day in question, they say that it was left on its own for 50 minutes, I believe it was a lot less than that.

Mr Utikere asked do you accept that it was left on its own to the extent that the Vet had to diagnose its suffering from mild heatstroke. Mr Goldsack said half of that, but if it had been left in the kennels it would have been happy and because it wasn't he could not do anything about it.

{32} In response to a question from the Chair, Mr Goldsack explained that the barking strap stops a dog from barking, but cannot be fitted in such a way that it stops a dog from breathing, panting, nor does it prevent the tongue from moving out from its mouth. He added that that is why it is called a therapeutic strap and it is used to settle the dog. Having said that, the Chair asked why then, when the dog was inspected, it was frothing from the mouth. He said it got stirred up by the McInerney dogs and that was what set him off, and that if he did not have the barking strap on him, he could have gone awol or got really aggressive.

CLOSING STATEMENTS

{33} Mr Irving said that he would not go through the evidence that had been presented in any detail, but said that the main fact in dispute was the type of muzzle used, and that he would not elaborate on that any further. He said that the RIU laid charges against Brian and Ray Goldsack, and that the RIU's position, is that Ray has carried out the following negligent things, or acts, and that he failed to ensure that WATCH MY BACK received adequate ventilation in the vehicle. Additionally he has left the dog unattended for a period of some time whilst muzzled. It is not disputed that WATCH MY BACK had suffered with heatstroke.

He said that in relation to Brian Goldsack who is the Trainer of the Greyhound, he is ultimately responsible for its welfare under the Rules, and cannot delegate this responsibility to any other person. He said that Brian did employ Ray to care for the dogs whilst at the races, and that he has failed to provide a suitable vehicle with ventilation, and also failed to instruct Ray not to leave the dog unattended, in the circumstances where the dog was likely to suffer from heat stress. He also failed to instruct Ray to constantly supervise the dog that was muzzled. The Health & Welfare Regulations make it quite clear in Chapter 4.1, that collars and muzzles must fit comfortably without damaging the skin causing swelling, restricting breathing, panting, vomiting or prevented from drinking.

Chapter 4.2 states that only basket muzzles can be used, except when using a muzzle for therapeutic purposes including routine husbandry procedures. (The definition of therapeutic refers to the healing, diseases, or medicinal treatment).

He said that Chapter 4.3 reads, the muzzle used for therapeutic purposes that restricts panting, drinking or vomiting, must be used under constant supervision.

Mr Irving said that the RIU believes that constant is exactly that as intended by the Rules. It does not say regular supervision, it says constant supervision, and that constant supervision means someone with the dog all the time. Chapter 6.9 says, Greyhounds must not be left in a vehicle in conditions where the dog is likely to suffer from cold or heat stress.

Mr Irving said that that refers to Appendix 1) of the Animal Welfare Regulations, and that Chapter 14 of those Regulations, states a person who leaves a dog in a stationary vehicle must ensure that the dog does not display signs of shade seeking behaviour, as well as one or more of the following signs consistent with heat stress: a) excessive panting b) excessive drooling c) hyperventilation.

Mr Irving concluded by saying that Brian Goldsack was responsible for the overall welfare of the dog, and to comply with the Rules and he failed to do so.

{34} Mr Pandey said that he would like to address some of the points raised by Mr Irving. In regard to adequate ventilation, there was sufficient space around the end of the car before you get to the boot. The dog did not choke to death or die of ventilation deprivation, and added that air tends to go wherever it can. He said that the inadequate ventilation is a non-issue.

In relation to the supervision at all times we have heard from the Stipendiary Stewards, who said that its not constant. Mr Pandey said that it cannot be constant, it is common sense that it means intermittent, but not constant intermittence, because we would not have any racemeetings at all if that was the case, because there are dogs sitting in vehicles at every racemeeting unattended, which is discernible to anyone who has been to a racemeeting.

In relation to the supposed muzzle that was impeding the dog's panting, he put it to the Committee that if the muzzle had been impeding the dog's ability to pant, that the dog would not have lasted the time that it did, and then recover so quickly. The evidence is that the dog was discovered in a slightly distressed state, suffering from mild heat stress, and recovered within 30 minutes to the Vet's satisfaction that it could go home. He said that it was clear that the dog was not in a critical state, otherwise it would not have recovered so quickly. He said secondly, if the containment device that was on the dog had been of the nature that the Stipendiary Stewards seem to believe that it was, the dog would have not lasted. He said that there is no evidence from the Vet of any injuries, no swelling, nothing. That is not consistent with a dog fighting for its life because it cannot pant. The evidence is consistent with what an experienced Greyhound Trainer might conclude that the dog was comfortable and fine, calmed down and put to rest before Mr Goldsack left the track, until the period of when the kennelling started, and other dogs started parading themselves past him on their way to the kennels. He said that you have heard from Mrs Goldsack that this dog takes exception to other male dogs.

The fact is that this dog was taken to the Vet and had a high temperature, and the Vet said that a temperature can go up very quickly in a dog once they become excited, and then return very quickly to a temperature that the Vet felt was acceptable and allowed the dog to go home. He said it would suggest that whatever it was that excited the dog, had occurred shortly before the dog was discovered to be in a stressful state. He said that if the dog had been in a stressful state from shortly after Mr Goldsack had left the track, that the dog would probably be dead before it was discovered at around 1.25pm, or in this instance in which I believe critical, the dog would not have recovered within 30 minutes, and secondly the dog would have been in a much worse state than it was discovered to be in. The Vet has put mild heat stroke on the Certificate, and that appears to be consistent with the dog's temperature when returning to an acceptable level, leaving the dog able to go home in a short period of time.

He said that in relation to the application of the device on the dog, he believed that the evidence shows that Mr Goldsack saying that the dog was wearing the apparatus that he has shown (barking strap) makes sense. If it was in fact of the nature that the Stipendiary Stewards believed it to be, the dog would have been in much much greater difficulty.

He said that there are elements to this, of what has been going on in the industry in general over a significant period of time. He said that you may well be aware that there was an inquiry conducted into the conduct of this Club (Wanganui), the results of which have not been revealed at this time.

He said that the Club denies that Mr Goldsack was ever refused permission to kennel the dog, and that he was never denied permission to put the dog in the air-conditioned kennels, that Mr Goldsack was fully entitled to use.

He said that he believed that if all the facts had been put in front of Mr Godber instead of the just the evidence that the Stipendiary Stewards put to him, he might have come to a different conclusion as to what the remedy was. He said that we know that the Rules are not strictly enforced, because Mr Austin has said as much. He said that there has to be a subjective judgement at some stage, as to whether the person is strictly culpable or whether there are mitigating circumstances, as to the effect perhaps, that you do not bash a fly with a mallet. He said he thought it was great that the dog was well looked after by everybody involved, it was right that the dog was taken to be vetted, and it was right that the dog was scratched.

Mr Pandey said that Mr Goldsack had been in the industry for a long time, and has had no welfare breaches of any kind, and that he believes he should be entitled to the benefit of a long period of worthy involvement in the industry. He said he was disappointed that the Stipendiary Stewards did not obtain the full picture before providing the evidence to Mr Godber. Such that what Mr Goldsack had presented today was not taken into account, and the possibility that if the whole picture had been presented, Mr Godber may have reached a different conclusion, as we know that all breaches of the Rules do not always result in charges.

{35} Mr Goldsack added that he loves his dogs to pieces and takes heed of what has gone down here today.

REASONS FOR DECISION

{36} We are satisfied that there is Proof of Service for the Respondent, Mr Ray Goldsack, and that he has been advised of the Hearing. While he has elected not to appear, we nonetheless proceed in his absence. We are also satisfied that any concerns about Mr Godber’s decision to authorise the laying of the charge(s) is irrelevant as we are satisfied that he has discharged his delegation, which is permitted under the Rules. Much has been raised in the hearing, however, we will limit our analysis to those issue that are in dispute, and what has led us to the conclusions we have reached.

The Committee received evidence from three prosecution witnesses. Firstly, Mr Gavin Whiterod identified that he was the Chief Stipendiary Steward (Greyhounds) at the time and was the Chairman of Stewards on the day in question at Hatrick Raceway. It is not disputed by Hearing participants that the dog WATCH MY BACK was located in the boot of the Goldsack vehicle by Mr Whiterod after being advised of concerns by the Club Manager Andrew Hansen. Mr Whiterod was very clear in his observations of finding the dog in a distressed state. He was also clear that the dog had a Barking Muzzle on, which was restricting its ability to pant or bark. He also observed foaming on both sides of the dog’s mouth.

Mr Michael Austin identified that he was a stipendiary steward on duty on the day and had received a radio call from Mr Whiterod asking him to meet him in the carpark at the rear of the Public Stand. His observations were consistent with that of Mr Whiterod in relation to seeing the dog wearing a Barking Muzzle and to be foaming from the mouth. He also gave evidence on his observations relating to the wooden partition between the boot cavity area and the remainder of the car, and the lack of ventilation that appeared to be in place.

Dr Erin Carver was the Vet who was on duty on the day, and was considered as an expert witness. Her evidence related to the fact that WATCH MY BACK was presented to her on the day by Mr R Goldsack and that after taking the dogs temperature, she determined that with a reading of 39.9 degrees the dog was unfit to race due to “mild heatstroke”. This was not contested by Mr Pandey.

For the defence, Mrs Jane Goldsack, the respondents’ mother, described that she had tended to the dog WATCH MY BACK four times per day for the last four years. She gave evidence relating to the characteristics that the dog displayed, and that he clearly had a “Macho” streak. This was particularly exacerbated when in the presence of other male dogs, and that was likely to be the reason for the dog appearing to be in a distressed stated when observed by the stipendiary stewards.

Mr Brian Goldsack advised the Committee that he had sought approval from the Head Kennelling Steward to have the dog placed in the holding kennel; explaining to her that it was a difficult dog. His request was refused on two occasions. After discussing this with another Trainer, Mr Bill Hodgson, he had it suggested to him (by Mr Hodgson), that a Barking Strap be applied, and that the respondent stay with the dog until he had to leave the course for a three hour hospital appointment. Mr Goldsack also advised that the reason the dog had been unattended by his brother (Mr R Goldsack) was because stewards had decided to swab two of his dogs that had run second in consecutive races, and that had never occurred to him previously as a trainer of many years. Mr Goldsack was adamant that it was a Barking Strap, not a Barking Muzzle that he had applied, and that he had briefed his brother before leaving the course for his hospital appointment. In relation to Mr R Goldsack, he had advised his brother post-event that he was “flat-stick and it was impossible to check on the dog”; largely due to the swabbing, and suggested that the dog was unattended for 20-25 minutes, although we accept this could be framed as speculative in the absence of Mr R Goldsack at the hearing.

In dispute is whether it was a Barking Muzzle or a Barking Strap. We accept the evidence of both stipendiary stewards that it was in fact a Barking Muzzle. This is because their evidence was unchallenged by the respondent at the time that it was given. In any event, there is a requirement that either apparatus must be fitted in such a way that it does not prevent the dog from panting, which is in line with the Welfare Standards referred to by GRNZ.

Arguments about the swabbing of two of the Goldsack dogs that ran second in consecutive races is also not a defence to the charge. While it might explain why the dog was unattended, stipendiary stewards determine which dogs are to be swabbed. This requires a random approach so there is no prior knowledge on the part of trainers that their dog will be swabbed; to do otherwise would defeat the purpose of the swabbing process.

It is clear that Mr B Goldsack had welfare considerations on his mind as he elected to stay with WATCH MY BACK until he had to leave the course for his hospital appointment. If there were ‘macho’ considerations about the dog’s characteristics; that would have been known prior to the dog’s arrival on course. In that context, having seven dogs on course, with only one licensed person for part of the day is to be considered as unacceptable, and the Goldsack operation should have put things in place, or taken an alternative course of action to mitigate this risk.

When Mr Goldsack was refused access to the holding kennels, the appropriate course of action would have been to approach the stipendiary stewards, who have ultimate control over the meeting, with his concerns. He did not. Instead he opted to place a dog in a circumstance where its welfare could be compromised without adequate supervision.

The Vet’s diagnosis was that of ‘mild heatstroke’, to the extent that WATCH MY BACK had to be scratched from the race. The Goldsacks did not put appropriate measures in place to mitigate this whilst they were responsible for the dog, and therefore they are both guilty of the charges that they face.

DECISION

{37}The charges preferred by the RIU against Messrs B and R Goldsack under the Rules of New Zealand Greyhound Racing were proved.

PENALTY SUBMISSIONS

{38} Mr Irving for the RIU said that he had not been able to find any similar cases through a search of the JCA website that are similar to today's circumstances. He said that there was a previous case last year August 2018 RIU v McInerney and Armstrong in which there were welfare charges similar to these charges, however in that case 5 dogs had died on a ferry crossing. He said Mr McInerney received a $5,000.00 fine and Mr Armstrong received a $1000 fine. He said that Mr McInerney was responsible for the dogs and that Mr Armstrong drove the dogs onto the ferry. He added that the Animal Welfare Act details that their penalty system under the Act is a maximum fine of $900. However under the said Rules the maximum fine for this offence is a $10,000 fine. His comment on that matter was that the Animal Welfare Act is for members of the public in their welfare of dogs under their control. He said that he would submit that under the Greyhound New Zealand Rules, and the fact that they govern the licence holders, there is an added responsibility for licence holders with regards to the welfare of their dogs. He added that in the current climate around Greyhound Racing and welfare issues, there needs to be a strong message sent, that it is a fundamental part of Greyhound racing that dogs left in their vehicles whilst on a racecourse on a raceday are cared for.

The RIU submit that the appropriate penalty for Mr Ray Goldsack is a $300 fine, and that the appropriate penalty for Mr Brian Goldsack is a $1,000 fine.

{39} The Committee asked Mr Irving if the $300 and $1,000 fine submissions were in his own mind related to the McInerney and Armstrong fines. Mr Irving answered that he factored that in regards to the proportions, and that in the case of Mr Armstrong he said that he was not financially well-off, and that a lot of weight had been put into that.

He said that he would submit that in the case of Ray Goldsack who was no longer a licence holder, that a suspension of any form would be meaningless. He said that if he looked at the proportionality between $5,000 and the $1,000 fine for McInerney and Armstrong that did take into account their financial positions, and said it also reflected the overall responsibility that is placed on the Trainer. He said that the ratio of fine of 5 to 1 is similar to the ratio he used of $1,000 and $300 He said that there were a number of other factors in the McInerney/Armstrong case including an admission, albeit part-way through the hearing. Also a discount was given around Mr McInerney's record, plus the fact that Mr Armstrong was not a licence holder, and the number of dogs that Mr McInerney had had over the years, and he believed it was his first welfare charge, which would be similar circumstances to the charges here today.

{40} Mr Irving submitted costs for two witnesses travel costs $184, witness rate per District Court $130, cost of photographs $30. Total Costs $344.

{41} Mr Pandey for Mr Goldsack asked if there was anything from this meeting that would go to the Wanganui Track, that put him in this position, because they were way outside of their boundaries. Mr Pandey was told by the Committee that it was a separate issue.

Mr Pandey pointed out that Mr Goldsack has been in the industry for a long time, and that this is his first welfare issue where there were extenuating circumstances where he tried to alleviate the condition of the day, but failed to do so, which saw the dog suffer heat stress. He said that Mr Goldsack has health issues which are quite marked and ongoing, and would ask that his good record and the circumstances in which these events took place, be taken into account in assessing the amount of penalty to be imposed.

Mr Pandey submitted that the penalty should be a fine and that it would be excessive to take further action, that a fine is appropriate, and perhaps allowing Mr Goldsack arrangements to pay any fine so that it does not impinge on his ability to look after his Greyhounds, himself and those that depend on him, including his mother, and be able to maintain his involvement in the industry. He said that this is not an event that should see him written out by direct penalty.

REASONS FOR PENALTY

{42} The Committee considered all of the submissions that had been placed before it. It is clear that both parties seek a financial penalty for this offending, and we consider that as an appropriate sanction on this occasion.

While both respondents have had different roles in relation to this offending, we assess the degree of culpability on the part of both of them as being not less than mid-range. We form this view because the dog, that was under their care, was left unattended in a motor vehicle, in warm climatic conditions, for an unspecified period of time. While there is a degree of difference from both parties in how long the dog had been left unattended; that is simply unknown. What is for certain is that ‘constant supervision’ did not occur, as was their responsibility to discharge in relation to the dog’s care and welfare.

The RIU have referred us to the case of RIU v McInerney and Armstrong (2018), citing that this is the only previous greyhound case that involves a specified breach relating to an Animal Welfare Code. We accept that is correct. There are some similarities between the current offending and that of McInerney and Armstrong. In that case the Licensed Trainer and the person responsible for the dog(s) at the time of the breach were both charged. A significant point of difference relates to the number of dogs, namely five, and the fact that the end result(s) in that case were fatal.

The RIU have sought a financial penalty of a $1,000 fine for Mr B Goldsack and a $300 fine for Mr R Goldsack, identifying that the overall responsibility for a dog’s welfare rests with the Licensed Trainer. We do not disagree with that. Mr Pandey also seeks a fine for Mr B Goldsack and cites his long involvement in the industry, that this is his first breach and that he has extenuating circumstances relating to a lack of access to the Holding Kennels and personal health issues that are on-going in nature. While we note Mr Pandey’s submissions on penalty, any health issues, while unfortunate, are no excuse for Mr Goldsacks’ decision to abrogate his obligations as a licensed person.

When we review McInerney and Armstrong, para [103] of that decision equally applies here where the Committee stated: “We emphasise Mr Armstrong was the person in charge of the dogs at that time. This task had been entrusted to him by Mr McInerney. The dogs were in his hands; their health and safety were his responsibility. He let them down in this regard.”

Put simply, we do not believe the penalties sought by the RIU adequately address the public concerns, nor do they serve as an appropriate deterrent for breaches that relate to animal welfare matters. Licence holders and industry participants must be put on notice that sustained breaches relating to welfare matters may attract sanctions that place at risk the ability to participate within the greyhound racing industry.

Mr Irving has made reference to penalties contained in the Animal Welfare Act. We agree that these are not helpful as they exist within the criminal justice jurisdiction and may also attract the sanction of a criminal conviction and the limitations that follow as a result.

In the case of McInerney and Armstrong, the starting point adopted for the Licensed Trainer was a $2,500 fine on each charge. Given the primary difference being that the outcome(s) in that matter were that fatalities resulted, and the slightly higher number of dogs involved, we believe an appropriate starting point for Mr B Goldsack as the Licensed Trainer is a $2,000 fine. In mitigation we consider his good record and apply a very modest discount. This is largely due to the expectation that a greyhound licence holder’s record in relation to matters that breach the Welfare Code should be exemplary. We consider a fine of $1,800 to be an appropriate penalty for this offence.

In relation to Mr R Goldsack, due to his negligent oversight of WATCH MY BACK at Hatrick Raceway on the day in question, we adopt a starting point of a $950 fine. In mitigation we have considered his record, but note that any reduction is to be modest in nature for the reasons outlined in the preceding paragraph. The end result will be a $750 fine.

While it has been raised during the hearing, we will not specifically address the requirement for arrangements to pay any financial penalty by way of instalments, as that is an operational matter. However, we acknowledge that previous decisions, including McInerney and Armstrong, indicate that such arrangements appear permissible.

On the issue of costs, the Committee considers it appropriate to order an approximate 60% costs award in favour of the RIU, to be equally divided across both respondents. We also deem it appropriate that costs in favour of the JCA are also to be paid by both respondents.

PENALTY

{43} Mr B Goldsack is fined $1800. Mr R Goldsack is fined $750.

COSTS

{44} Mr B Goldsack is ordered to pay $100 in costs to the RIU in addition to a contribution towards JCA costs, which is fixed at $350.

Mr R Goldsack is ordered to pay $100 in costs to the RIU in addition to a contribution towards JCA costs, which is fixed at $350.

Noel McCutcheon – Chair

Tangi Utikere – Judicial Member

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