Ban Horse and Dog Racing in Australia

Ban Horse and Dog Racing in Australia

8 November 2018
Petition to
NSW Government and
Signatures: 1,152Next goal: 1,500
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Why this petition matters

Started by Mash S

Ban horse and dog racing due to the unethical treatment of these poor creatures who have no voice to speak up for them.

Whilst in training, horses may be individually stabled for most of every day, apart from when they're on the training track. Stabling is the most 'practical' way to provide the horses with their high-performance training and racing diet, and housing them right next to the training track reduces time consuming daily transport. However, without social and environmental stimulation, horses can develop stereotypic behaviours, such as crib-biting (biting on fences and other fixed objects and then pulling back, making a characteristic grunting noise, called wind-sucking) and self-mutilation may occur. These stereotypic behaviours are a strong indicator of welfare problems for horses.

Around 31,000 thoroughbreds and a similar number of Standardbreds will be 'in training' or racing at any one time in Australia.

Physical suffering
The feeding of high concentrate diets (grains) fed during training rather than extended grazing, often leads to gastric ulcers. A study of racehorses at Randwick (NSW) found that 89% had stomach ulcers, and many of the horses had deep, bleeding ulcers within 8 weeks of the commencement of their training (Newby J, Welfare issues raised by racehorse ulcer study, The Veterinarian, March 2000).

During training and in competition, horses of all ages can suffer painful muscular-skeletal injuries, such as torn ligaments and tendons, dislocated joints and even fractured bones.

Internal race injuries
The exertion of the races leads a large proportion of horses to bleed into their lungs and windpipe — called Exercise-Induced Pulmonary Haemorrhage. This has only been fully realized in recent years when endoscopes have been used to carry out internal examinations via the throat. A study carried out by the University of Melbourne found that 50% of race horses had blood in the windpipe, and 90% had blood deeper in the lungs.

'Jumps racing'
Jumps racing is one of the many fates for 'failed' and 'retired' thoroughbred racing horses (particularly in Victoria and South Australia). Statistics over many years have shown that jumps races are even more dangerous and harmful for horses, with up to 20 times more fatalities than flat races. This is not surprising when you have a group of horses being pushed to jump a series of one metre high fences together at speed.

As well as this, the jumps races are usually much longer, and the jockeys are permitted to be heavier. Tired horses have a greater risk of falling — risking injury to themselves and often the jockeys.

The injuries that occur when horses fall or career into the jumps or the barriers can be quite horrific.

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Signatures: 1,152Next goal: 1,500
Support now