Next Monday, thousands of people will be flocking to the Morphettville Racecourse for the Adelaide Cup.
What many may not know is that this event – like other similar race days around Australia – is the cause of immense suffering for the horses who are forced to run for our entertainment.
So what are some of the issues with horse racing?
The horse-racing industry exists to make money. When horses are no longer financially viable, either because their racing career has come to an end or because they never made it to the racetrack in the first place, they often become “wastage”.
What this term means in reality is that thousands of horses are sent to slaughter each year in Australia, just because they are of no value to the industry.
Many are killed for human consumption overseas. Others’ flesh is sold as pet food.
Find out more about wastage in this video from The Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses.
WARNING: graphic footage.
Despite decades of protesting and the fact that other countries, such as Norway, have made it illegal, Australian jockeys are still permitted to whip horses during races like the Adelaide Cup.
A 2011 study showed that whipping horses – in an effort to make them run faster when fatigued towards the end of a race – actually made no difference to the race results. Whipping only succeeds in causing pain and often injury to a horse who is already exhausted.
Of course, there are many other issues in the horse-racing industry, such as the particularly dangerous practice of jumps racing, horrific injuries and premature deaths, the practices of forcing horses to race in the heat and forcing them to race before their bodies have fully developed, and the controversial drugs given to horses.
What You Can Do
Many compassionate Australians are choosing not to support the horse-racing industry after learning about the inherent cruelty involved. Please join them in choosing to spend your dollars elsewhere to help phase out this exploitative “sport”.
You can also help horses in the following ways:
- Share this information with your friends and family.
- Support the important work of The Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses, and follow them on Facebook.
- Attend a rally or other event to help raise awareness of the plight of racehorses.
Whether in the Adelaide Cup, the Melbourne Cup, or any other racing event, horses aren’t ours to use for entertainment. There is nothing sporting about forcing an animal to run around a track at breakneck speed under extreme pressure and in often dangerous conditions. Please, skip the racetrack and choose to celebrate the public holiday elsewhere.