What’s wrong with horse racing?
We first and foremost oppose the racing and exploitation of a fellow sentient being on moral grounds. Horses are conscious beings capable of suffering and we oppose any intentional harm to them. We reject speciesism in all its forms, including purposeful use of individuals for hypothetical gains of another, including that of humans.
In a year, 15,000 thoroughbred foals will be bred for the Australian horse racing industry. From an early age they will be broken in to comply with the gruelling training ahead of them. Most will not be fast enough or will suffer injuries that prevent them from being profitable, and will be discarded without a second thought.
Those few who manage to survive training will be raced so hard they may develop cardiopulmonary bleeding and scarring, torn ligaments and tendons, dislocated joints and even fractured bones. They are raced so young that their skeletal systems are not fully developed, leaving them at risk of catastrophic injuries. We have all seen the footage of horses falling during the Melbourne cup and killed where they lay. This happens across Australia with 137 recorded deaths on racetracks in 2016-17, and who only knows how many unrecorded deaths during training. 40% of horses leave the industry every year with horses often sent to slaughter or left in paddocks without appropriate care.
‘Wastage’ is the term used for horses that exit the industry. Wastage includes both the breeding of thoroughbreds that never make it to the racetrack and thoroughbreds leaving the racetrack once their racing career has ended.
Owning a racehorse is promoted as an easy way to amass fame and fortune, but very few win any money at all let alone return their training costs and/or purchase price. When a thoroughbred destined for racing is born in Australia, their chances of being a successful racehorse are slim. Many unsuccessful thoroughbreds will end up at “the doggers” or knackeries.
These social creatures, who ordinarily would form close family units and cover more than 20km a day in their natural habitats. Horses used for racing are transported frequently and often kept isolated, preventing normal bonding behaviour and causing substantial stress resulting in injury prior to even arriving at a racetrack. Whipping of horses is also legal, despite evidence of the substantial pain it causes. There have also been numerous reports and instances of illegal training techniques such as the use of electric devices (“jiggers”) to condition horses to run faster out of fear of being electrocuted, as well as drugging of horses.
Why do we allow this to happen?
Refuse to attend or bet on any horse racing event.
Participate in local demonstrations/protests
The industry in Canberra receives taxpayer funding (over 6 million dollars in 2018 or over 50% of their listed revenue!) and the government backed CBR group is listed as a sponsor in the most recent Thoroughbred Park annual report. Thoroughbred Park, the home of Canberra horse racing, does not pay income tax.
It is time for us to take action and DEMAND that this cruel industry no longer be given taxpayer money to prop them up, and for the industry to be banned. As with greyhound racing, animal exploitation has no place in the A.C.T. Please take action to help us end this vile industry.
Write or call your MLAs
The chief minister
Gordon Ramsay Ramsay@act.gov.au
Write to the Canberra Times editor expressing your disgust at this industry being allowed to operate in the A.C.T at;
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