RACING BOARD DECISION
PUTS HORSES FIRST
The RSPCA has congratulated the Australian Racing Board for standing firm on the new whip rules and not giving in to a vocal minority.
“The ARB made the right decision initially by taking the first step to reduce whip use in Australian racing and they have made the right decision today,’ said RSPCA CEO Heather Neil.
“It’s only been one month since the new rules came into place and 99% of jockeys have had no trouble adjusting so the fact we are even debating this today is bewildering.
“There is absolutely no evidence to suggest that reducing the use of whips is impacting the safety of jockeys. In fact reduced interference on the track over the past month has been directly attributed to horses not moving away from a whip.
“The RSPCA refutes any suggestion that beating a horse to make it go faster is encouragement rather than punishment. You just have to look at the welts and bruises on a horse after a race to know that it hurts.
“A horse beaten like this in any other situation would be protected by animal cruelty laws but for some reason it’s deemed acceptable on a race track.
“We need to increase horsemanship in Australian racing. Jockeys are trained athletes and shouldn’t have to rely on whips to get the best out of their horses.”
Ms Neil, who presented to the ARB today, said the Board had seen through the nonsense arguments and met community expectations to improve animal welfare in racing.
“The new rules were introduced following a world wide trend to reduce whips in riding and we should be looking forward not back.”