May was the most deadly month this racing year on Australian racetracks, with Tasmania not even racing due to COVID-19 restrictions. Racing NSW took the winning prize with seven fatalities from within their jurisdiction.
The racing industry is right on track to maintain their one death on track every three days. Of course, these are just the deaths that are recorded.
The deaths or injuries sustained which led to the decisions to kill the horses are varied. From fractures, to suspensory apparatus ruptures, to major haemorrhage.
At a time when the racing industry is experiencing an unprecedented animal welfare crisis the question is, what is the industry doing about the carnage on racetracks? Is a modern society willing to accept that horses will continue to suffer and die tragic deaths to sustain a public gambling industry?
The industry refuses to engage in sufficient research and there is no appropriate intervention strategies that compel vets to decide whether a horse is fit to race.
Ultimately, just allowing unsound horses on to the track is in itself an act of cruelty.
As stated in the NSW POCTA Act Section 13, with similar acts in other states:
A person shall not:
(a) ride, drive, use, carry or convey an animal, or
(b) where the person is a person in charge of an animal–authorise the riding, driving, using, carrying or conveying of the animal,
if the animal is unfit for the purpose of its being so ridden, driven, used, carried or conveyed.
Racehorses should be protected under the various states POCTA Acts, as should all animals, yet we repeatedly see exceptions made which ultimately render our animal protection laws useless. Our state authorities support and frequently endorse an industry that is constantly in flagrant breach of their own codes.
Stay tuned for CPR’s Deathwatch 2020 Report to be released in mid – late August.