RSPCA Australia is outraged that the rules governing the use of whips in jumps racing have been watered down by Racing Australia.
RSPCA Australia’s CEO, Heather Neil warned today that the watered down rules would lead to more injuries and deaths for horses.
“Jumps racing only occurs in Victoria and South Australia, and both states have seen significant injuries to horses, some fatal, in jumps racing events”, Ms Neil said.
“In South Australia, 16 horses have died as a result of jumps races since 2009. In the most recent case, ten-year-old gelding Trenchtown died as a result of a jump racing injury”.
“It’s a similar story in Victoria, where 62 horses have died since 2006 in jumps racing”.
“There is overwhelming scientific evidence correlating the number of whip strikes with fractures, tripping and falling, as horses become exhausted and start to make mistakes”.
“Recent jumps races in the UK, at the prestigious Cheltenham and Aintree festivals, resulted in 7 horse deaths in Cheltenham and 4 at Aintree”.
“Racing Australia has capitulated to pressure from the Australian Jockeys’ Association”.
“The result will be disastrous for horses which are regularly pushed beyond their physical limits and whipped when they are tired and vulnerable”.
“The figures speak for themselves, with research showing that jumps horses are 18.9 times more likely to die than a flat racing horse”.
“Racing Australia must respond to community anger about the cruelty meted out to horses over these long and arduous races, and force Victoria and South Australia to end this dangerous sport, for the sake of the horses and their jockeys”.
RSPCA South Australia CEO Tim Vasudeva will provide evidence on why jumps racing should end before the South Australian Parliamentary Select Committee on Jumps Racing tomorrow, April 15th.