In 2016, approximately forty thoroughbred horses were discovered to be malnourished and close to death on a property in Bulla, Victoria. At the time, the RSPCA were contacted but reportedly didn’t act on the complaint. Many of those horses eventually died, adding to the remains of the countless others who had died prior, before action was finally taken due to the persistence of locals.
Extensive and devastating media coverage garnered the support of many, including Racing Victoria who then stepped up and got involved, as did Horse Shepherd Equine Sanctuary who provided the remaining surviving twenty-three horses with the chance of a better life.
Thank you to all involved including the racing industry participants and Racing Victoria who apparently footed the bill for their initial care (as they should). Perhaps they were trying to make up for the fact that they were aware of the neglect horses suffered at the hands of this trainer many years earlier.
Racing Victoria coverage of the Bulla horses here.
Our coverage on them at the time here.
Though Racing Victoria’s coverage of the Bulla horses is a positive story for many, the problem of wastage remains.
While the racing industry continues to preach the importance of animal welfare, why are they not being transparent about the numbers of re-homed racehorses? It’s okay to spin a positive story and, no doubt, this is a positive one for the Bulla survivors, but not if it’s being used to suggest that this problem has now been taken care of. That’s called propaganda.
Every year approximately 13,000 horses are born into the racing industry and about the same number leave – made up of breeding mares, retiring racehorses and even racehorses that have never raced, including foals. Wastage in horse racing will always remain a problem until the racing industry can account for every single horse they breed, whether they win a million dollars or never even make it to the racetrack.
It’s time to move on from the Bulla horses and focus on the many thousands that are still today largely unaccounted for.
NB: CPR has contacted Racing Australia and all the states principal authorities on several occasions asking about their rehoming programs and, in particular, the number of horses rescued, yet they fail to provide us with any details whatsoever. So much for being open and transparent.
Act now! Find out about the National Horse Traceability Register and take action here. This will send an automated email directly to those who are supposed to be implementing an effective lifelong register but are not doing so. It’s set to fail unless we act now! You can also go the extra mile and write directly to your federal member of parliament demanding that every horse in the country be registered on a sophisticated and effective database so that they can be traced for life, and owners made accountable for their care.