|For Immediate Release, Thursday 12 Novermber 2020|
Peer-reviewed study confirms horse’s skin is as sensitive as human skin
Activists call for immediate whip ban
A peer reviewed study released yesterday (available here) has revealed that the horse’s skin is almost identical in structure and has the same ability to fell pain as humans.
Excerpts from the study:
“The results revealed no significant difference between humans and horses in either the concentration of nerve endings in the outerpain-detecting layer of skin (epidermis) or in the thickness of this layer.”
“These findings show that although horse skin is thicker overall than human skin, the part of the skin that is thicker does not insulate them from pain that is generated during a whip strike, and that humans and horses have the equivalent basic anatomic structures to detect pain in the skin.”
Elio Celotto, Campaign Director for the Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses (CPR), “We hope this puts an end to the ridiculous argument that the whip doesn’t hurt and that Racing Australia now takes appropriate action and immediately phases out whips.”
In March 2015, former CEO of the Australian Racing Board (ARB) now Racing Australia, Peter McGauran, was interviewed and said the ARB would consider abolishing the whip if science proved it hurt horses.
“It’s simply appalling that the racing industry has been hiding behind the lack of scientific evidence that proves a horse feels pain. Of course they do and now we have the proof” Mr Celotto said.
“The fact that they are to this day advocating for whip use to continue is an indictment on a sport that routinely uses, abuses and then disposes of the horses they rely upon to exist while at the same time claiming they love them” he said.
“In light of this study, Racing Australia must take affirmative action and ban the whip before it’s forced upon them.”
Excerpt form the study (page 12)
“In a flight animal, such as the horse, being unable to resolve aversive cutaneous stimulation causes distress. Horses have evolved to run away from such stimuli since the most likely natural cause of such stimulation is contact from a predator. Repeated strikes of the whip in horses that are fatigued as they end a race are likely to be distressing and cause suffering. The horses’ loss of agency is described in the literature as helplessness and repeated, inescapable, treatment of this sort is thought to lead to learned helplessness.”
“Not only does the whip hurt, it forces horses to run out of fear and be pushed to beyond their physical limits which can lead to break down or even catastrophic injury on the racetrack.”
CPR is launching an on-line petition for a complete ban of whips in horse racing.
For More information: horseracingkills.com