Ban horse pulling competitions in Spain and stop the torture

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Horse pulling is a draft horse competition taking place notably in Spain and particularly in Valencia, where horses in harness, usually one or two animals, pull a stone-boat or weighted sled and the winner is the team or animal that can pull the most weight for a short distance.

As reported by several media, the Animalist Party Against Mistreatment to Animals (in Spanish : PACMA), shared a shocking video on its website (see here). The disturbing scenes show horses tethered to carts and pulling up to 7,700 pounds (3,500 kg) of heavy weights through soft sand in Valencia during a contest called “Pull and Drag.” 

The contestants are seen punching the horses in the face, stomach and testicles while simultaneously kicking them to cover the race course faster. The horses can be seen in utter distress and unable to defend themselves for what is considered a traditional “sport.”

On July 19, 2017 Spain has finally ratified the European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals. It is one of the last European countries to ratify the Convention (Italy ratified it in 1987 for instance). The horses shown in the video qualify as pets according to the wording of the Convention and are thus entitled to protection and welfare. Article 3.1 of the Convention states that "Nobody shall cause a pet animal unnecessary pain, suffering or distress" and Article 9.1 states that "Pet animals shall not be used in advertising, entertainment, exhibitions, competitions and similar events unless (...) the pet animals' health and welfare are not put at risk".

Horse pulling competitions are obviously not compliant with these basic principles of animal welfare and it is the duty of the Valencian Federation to ban this barbaric display of animal torture that does not root in local or ancient traditions.

Unfortunately for the poor horses, the Valencian Federation has chosen to grant a 9.000 euros subsidy to the organisers of these horrendous competitions and is not willing to ban them yet : Sign this petition today to stop the torture of hundreds of horses forced to break their backs to carry stones, while being punched and mutilated, all in the name of a non "sport".



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