Randwick City Councillor Philipa Veitch will on Tuesday 26 November put forward a strong motion to condemn the Australian racing industry and withdraw all future support of Randwick racecourse related events.
Just weeks after a passionate debate unfolded in the City of Melbourne Future Melbourne meeting regarding the ethics of horse racing and its inherent cruelty, Randwick City Council will now too debate the topic and vote on the City’s ongoing support of the industry.
Randwick City Councillors need to hear from you!
Please email the following councillors immediately (all in one email is fine) and express your strong support of the motion which can be read below.
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- Notes the shocking footage of the cruel treatment and slaughter of racehorses on 7.30 Report on October 17, and its allegations that thousands of racehorses are being sent to slaughterhouses despite public commitments from the Racing Industry to rehome them after they have been retired;
- Condemns the systemic cruelty and ‘wastage’ produced by the horse racing industry;
- Write to the CEO of Racing NSW, Peter V’landys and the Premier of NSW, The Hon Gladys Berejiklian:
- Expressing our strong condemnation of these and other practices that inflict suffering and cause the premature death of racehorses;
- Calling for immediate action to protect the welfare of all current and retired racehorses in NSW;
- Write to the CEO of The Royal Randwick Racecourse, notifying them of this motion, and of council’s intention to cease further involvement in Racing events at the Royal Randwick Racecourse.
Around 15,000 thoroughbred foals are bred each year in Australia, with approximately 31,000 thoroughbreds and a similar number of Standardbreds ‘in training’ or racing at any one time. There are no mandatory welfare standards for racehorses. Therefore, legal protection is limited to the minimal requirements under State based animal welfare legislation. During their short careers, race horses are subject to many practices that inflict unnecessary pain and suffering.
The RSPCA is opposed to the use of whips due to their potential to inflict pain and injury and believes that the use of whips cannot be justified given that performance is influenced more by genetics, preparation and rider skill.
Two other types of equipment used on racehorses are tongue ties and spurs. A tongue tie is a piece of nylon or elastic that is wrapped tightly around the tongue and tied to the lower jaw to keep the tongue in place during a race. Restricting the movement of the tongue in this way causes discomfort and can lead to permanent injury. Spurs, which are made of metal and are attached to the back of riding boots, exert sharp pressure when the jockey squeezes or kicks the horse in the flank area.
Despite their adverse impacts, the use of whips, tongue-ties and spurs is officially endorsed by racing authorities. One specific type of equipment which has been outlawed is an electric shock device known as a jigger. A jigger is a battery-powered device which delivers an electric shock when applied to the horse’s skin, causing significant pain and long-term distress when associated with other cues. Possession or use of a jigger is a breach of the rules of racing and is an act of cruelty under animal welfare legislation. Despite their clear illegality, some trainers and jockeys still choose to use these devices to coerce horses in a desperate attempt to win races.
The vast majority of thoroughbreds and standardbred horses fail to run fast enough or become injured and are just ‘discarded’ by the racing industry.
Some horses considered unwanted (‘wastage’) by the racing industry will be sold on for riding, eventing or other uses, but the majority will not be wanted and are likely to be sent for slaughter, either directly through auctions or ‘eventually’ when they have no further use.
A study conducted by researchers at the University of Sydney by Hayek AR, Jones B, Evans DL, Thomson PC and McGreevy PD attempted to track ex-racing horses. Similar to other studies they found almost 40% of racehorses leave the industry each year due to poor performance, illness or injury or behavioural or other problems.
Many failed or older racehorses will be destined for slaughter, and may go to local knackeries — to be used for pet meat, for example — or be purchased for slaughter at the two horse abattoirs in Australia (Peterborough in SA and Caboolture in QLD). Approximately 2,000 tonnes of horse meat is exported from Australia for human consumption in Japan and Europe annually (ABS figures). Over 25,000 horses per year are killed in this way in Australia.
The dark side of Australia’s horse racing industry | 7.30
Cr Philipa Veitch
Theresa Schwark says
Thank you Philipa – we support you.
Peta Roberts says
As painful as ‘The Final Race’ was to watch let’s thank the ABC for shining a light in a very dark place. Now we know, so now we must act. Some NSW regulations were clearly breached. Time now to devise and enforce systems and structures to ensure the scale and brutality of this carnage is not repeated.
The horses have no union boss to speak on their behalf, they cannot strike or contribute to a superannuation fund. They rely on good will of humans. The public, and apparently the racing industry, had no idea of the scale of wastage or horrific end these animals met. We know now…so let’s act!!
Thankyou Councillor Philipa Veitch for putting forward this motion.
Caroline Sanguinetti says
Ban Horse Racing Permanently!
Caroline Sanguinetti says
Horse racing is disgraceful and cruel. Ban it immediately.
Tracey Maitland says
The treatment of these animals post racing is appalling, stringent regulations need to be put in place and policed to ensure they are looked after properly once they have finished their racing careers
Belinda Ball says
Lets withdraw all support for horse racing!! Disgusting industry!!
Lisa J Ryan says
Have emailed all Randwick councillors in support of this motion.
Sylvia Raye says
Animal Cruelty is the next social justice movement. We no longer accept the cruelty in the Racing Industry. Ban the whip, ban tongue ties, ban forcing animals beyond their limit, ban over breeding.
Anne Hall says
As someone who pounds the pavements of Randwick nearly every Thursday and Saturday looking for a home to purchase and therefore intending to become a ratepayer I would very much prefer rate money in the area is spent on more ethical important and needy initiatives then horse racing.
I am very sad to see how those making a profit from the horses often treat them and think all people concerned about animal cruelty should make a stand against this. Now is your opportunity to do so when you take this vote tonight
Barrie Tapp says
Registration of ALL horses should be mandatory We register all other animals before allowed to be sold at saleyards so what is the difference with horses
How come they kill the horses if they don`t win?
Christine Berry says
In 1990’s I took action to pass legislation that banned doubles in my state. In 2001 we passed it. Strongest law in USA banning the doubles.
FOR ALL HORSES, no matter what their final destination.
At same time I FOUGHT to enforce our state laws that increased the “cost of doing business” for anyone involved in buying & selling horses at low end auctions & involved in slaughter.
I FOUGHT to enforce cruelty laws that PROHIBITED sale & transport of horses that it would be cruel to work or use, unless transported to NEAREST appropriate facility for humane care, medical treatment or destruction.
The enforcement of that law effectively meant that OWNERS could NOT profit from the sale of sick & injured horses. The goal was NOT to rescue or save them, but to MAKE OWNERS ACCOUNTABLE.
The goal was NOT to save these horses. The goal was to make their owners do what RESPONSIBLE OWNERS DO- which is to treat an injured/sick horse or euthanize the horse.
By doing so, the horse would be saved from the hell of the slaughter pipeline. The horse would receive “the good death” not one filled with terror.
But the “rescues” perceived this as an opportunity to “save horses” and the “horse dealer rescues” were born.
Thus 20 years on dealers have rescues as agents helping them to sell horses who are the victims in the crime of cruelty to animals. Their owners should be reaching into their pockets to pay for the cost of prosecution, defense attorneys, & veterinary care for the horse they inflicted suffering upon.
Instead they are pocketing money. More $ then they ever would receive if the “rescues” weren’t involved in “saving these horses”.
In the first case where the state police arrested 2 out of state dealers for bringing 2 injured horses from out of state for transporting & offering for sale injured horses, horses whose injuries could NOT be fixed, & without proper health paperwork, a rescue interferes wanting to “save the horses”. They filed complaints with the state police for not being allowed to save horses that could not be saved.
Their actions effectively undid 2 years of hard work to have the state police enforce laws that had never been enforced by local police or humane agents despite being on the books for 15 years.
Why would any trooper want to involve themselves in investigating animal cruelty when it would only result in complaints from the animal welfare groups???
Despite scores of other horses destined for slaughter that day, many of whom could have gone on to live productive lives, this group focused on these 2, 2 whose injuries could not be fixed & in the words of the vet who put them down stated, “anyone who wants to prolong their suffering is guilty of cruelty. It needs to end NOW!”
That’s been the story ever since. Rescues fighting amongst themselves. Fighting law enforcement instead of supporting the efforts to enforce the law.
The laws in the USA continue to go unenforced. While the enforcement of our cruelty laws may NOT save horses’ lives, it will save them from death by a bolt gun. And it will HOLD OWNERS ACCOUNTABLE.
Through education many horses continue to be saved from slaughter. Not always from death, but from a slaughterhouse death .
The horse slaughter issue is NOT about saving horses from death. It is about the MANNER of death.
Are we going to kill horses via lethal injection or in case of emergency, gun shot disposing of their bodies in landfills, burial, cremation, or rendering, or are we going to kill them via bolt to the head & butcher them for human consumption?
Mass killing CANNOT be made humane. That IS why it’s called slaughter.
Death by gunshot is violent. Lethal injection is free of terror, free of pain. It’s the same as going under anesthesia for surgery and not waking up. It’s peaceful. Not filled with terror.
I walked away almost 20 years ago because I was tired of fighting not only the Cattlemen, & the horse industry, but fighting the friendly fire, very people who are supposed to be on my side.
Reality dictates that not every horse can be saved or provided a wonderful lifelong home. Life is so very precious, so I do not make that statement lightly. But it IS reality.
Save the horses that no one wants, horses that can live their lives out. Don’t try & save the ones that owners are taking responsibility for & euthanizing. They don’t need saving.
If more owners took responsibility we wouldn’t have over 100K horses going to slaughter each year.
As long as owners refuse to face facts & as long as a demand for horse meat exists there will be those who will say & do whatever it takes to obtain horses for the slaughter houses.