For Immediate Release, Wednesday 2 February 2022
Animal Rights Activists Say Nup to the Taranaki Cup
Continuing the momentum of nationwide opposition to horse racing
What: Protest against Taranaki Cup
When: Saturday 5 February 2022 11am – 1pm
Where: New Plymouth Raceway – Meeting on the grass area on the corner of Rogan Street and Coronation Avenue
Taranaki Animal Save invites the public to join protest at Powerworx Taranaki Cup Day
Last year twenty-five horses died on New Zealand racetracks, along with countless others in the days following due to racing related injuries and complications. Pulmonary haemorrhages and cardiac arrhythmias are disturbingly common. The racing industry themselves reported over 600 incidents of excessive whipping in 2021, although activists witnessed many other incidents that were not reported.
“In 2022 it should no longer be acceptable to put animals in harms way in the name of entertainment,” says Summer Aitken, a spokesperson for Taranaki Animal Save.
In partnership with Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses (CPR), Taranaki Animal Save will be holding a protest outside New Plymouth Raceway this Saturday. Members of the public are invited to attend the peaceful demonstration which aims to raise awareness about the ongoing welfare issues plaguing the racing industry.
“We want our presence outside Taranaki Cup Day to be a reminder to the industry and their sponsors that public support for horse racing is waning. It’s widely considered unacceptable to use and abuse animals for gambling and entertainment,” Aitken adds.
Taranaki based activists have attended all the racing meetings at New Plymouth Raceway over the past 12 months. At every event they have photographed and recorded highly distressed horses being whipped, kicked, dragged, blindfolded, and physically lifted off their feet. They have documented horses with their tongues tied to their jaws, horses rearing and getting stuck in the barriers, and more.
“There is a dark side to this industry, beyond the glitz and glamour, and it’s the horses who pay the ultimate price,” says Elin Arbez, member of Taranaki Animal Save and representative for CPR.
“At the previous race day on 27th December we photographed one particularly distressed horse who was later examined by a veterinarian and diagnosed with lameness and an elevated heart rate. Forcing sore and stressed horses to race for human greed is completely unacceptable,” Ms Arbez goes on to say.
“Nine horses have been killed at New Plymouth Raceway alone in the past decade. Horses who are not profitable to the industry are killed in huge numbers behind the scenes, with an average of 3000 thoroughbred racehorses unaccounted for annually.” Read the full report here.
Due to the Covid-19 red alert level, participants are asked to wear masks, observe social distancing, and not attend if you’re experiencing any symptoms or have recently been in contact with anyone who has tested positive.