ACT AS SOON AS POSSIBLE
Jumps racing, the deadliest form of horse racing in Australia, has this week claimed another life.
With horses jumping metre high fences at speed, this racing results in a staggering number of deaths and horrific injuries to horses every year. Victorian jumps racing was responsible for the death of 13 horses on the track last year, and the death toll this year already stands at ten.
It is a cruel and dangerous practice. Three major internal reviews trying to make jumps racing safer for horses have failed to stem the rate at which horses are being killed.
Following a spate of incidents where 3 horses died during the Warrnambool Carnival in May 2009, Racing Victoria suspended jumps racing for two weeks while the industry pondered its fate. Assailed by pressure from within the jumps racing fraternity, Racing Victoria decided to allow it to continue, and announced a number of regulations that they claimed would make the sport ' less hazardous' . These included removing the last hurdle, increasing jockey education and implementing a qualification scheme for horses prior to racing. All of these measures had been trialled in the past, with no success.
Sadly, it wasn't long before another horse was fatally injured following the resumption of jumps racing. Only one month after the new measures were implemented, a horse fell badly while racing, sustained serious injuries, and lost its life in the name of entertainment. In July, a further three horses were killed, and most recently another was euthanased following a serious fall during the first jumps meeting in August.
Earlier this year Victorian Racing Minister, Rob Hulls, stated his concern in the media over the welfare of horses in jumps racing, and commented that the death count was making it increasingly unsustainable. Ultimately though, decisions on the future of jumps racing have been left to Racing Victoria, and thus this deadly pursuit continues.
Racing Victoria is set to review jumps racing at the end of the season. Until then, even while horses keep being killed, no further action is being taken by the presiding body, or the Victorian Government, to stop it.
It is inevitable that while jumps racing continues, horses will fall, sustain horrendous injuries, and die. It is time for jumps racing to be banned once and for all.
Write to Racing Victoria, and the Victorian Minister for Racing, and ask them to implement an immediate and permanent ban on jumps racing.
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