For Immediate Release, Wednesday 29 September, 2021
LET THE PROPAGANDA MACHINE BEGIN
Glaringly obvious omissions from the Spring Racing Carnival marketing campaign
“The racing industry’s latest pitch to try to redeem themselves from the Spring Carnival wreckage of recent years is so obviously full of holes it is astonishing” said Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses (CPR) Campaign Director Elio Celotto.
Launched with a full-page ad in the Herald Sun, Racing Victoria’s very first paragraph states, In every corner, on every single day of the year, we provide racehorses with the care and attention they deserve to shine, both on and off the track.
They then immediately go on to contradict themselves by reminding us they have implemented 41 recommendations to set a new global safety benchmark for horses competing in the Victorian Spring Racing Carnival, how they’ll be examining every horse before the Melbourne Cup, Caulfield Cup and Cox Plate and scanning every horse before the Melbourne Cup to prevent injuries.
“So, why are they only implementing the “global safety benchmark” for three events a year?” asks Mr Celotto. “What about the other 540 plus events in Victoria alone, which include approximately 4,300 races? Are those thousands of horses less important because the media spotlight is only on racing during the Spring Carnival?”
“Those are the horse who make up the vast majority of deaths on track and nothing is being done to protect them, simply because they are not Melbourne Cup horses who attract the media spotlight” Mr Celotto said.
“As our annual Deathwatch proves, (available here) on average, there is another Anthony Van Dyck at least every 2.5 days, with one every eleven days being in Victoria. And that’s just the racing deaths we are fortunate enough to learn of. How many more are disposed of as a result of racing injuries, we’ll never know” he said.
“Racing Victoria now have an ‘Onsite Euthanasia Program’ (Racing NSW has a similar program). In a desperate attempt to prevent the public seeing injured horses continuing to show up at the saleyards and knackeries, they are now actually paying racing participants to have their horses killed on their properties if they cannot be re-homed, which let’s face it, is most of them.”
CPR has emailed Racing Victoria five times asking for details about the program but are yet to receive a response.
The Spring Carnival marketing campaign also boasts about the $11.5 million dedicated to Melbourne University’s equine limb injury research prevention research which sounds good on paper but is largely being ignored (read more here). Findings demonstrate horses should be regularly rested from training to allow bone to repair yet Racing Victoria has not implemented any limits on the number of times a horse can be used to race, aside from the newly arrived international horses racing in the Melbourne Cup.
“If the racing industry wants to regain the respect of Australians, they, at the very least, need to provide the same standard for all horses. Otherwise, this is clearly just another PR stunt” Mr Celotto said.
“And let’s not forget, while they claim to be giving the Spring Carnival horses the best possible care, they too will still be beaten with a whip – the main tool (but not the only tool) used to inflict pain and instil fear into the horse, often pushing them to the point of breakdown.”
“This is not an industry that cares about their horses. This is an industry that cares about maximizing profit above everything else. And, its most powerful weapon is its clever marketing campaigns, designed to dupe as many people as they can into believing that racehorses are the best looked after animals in the world.”