RSPCA Australia has strongly urged the Racing Australia Board to end the unnecessary whipping of race horses by delivering the signatures of more than 38,925 Australians who support the move.
“The Australian community is ready and eager for the whipping of racehorses to become a practice of the past,” said Dr Bidda Jones, RSPCA Australia Chief Scientist.
“The RSPCA’s campaign has received overwhelming public support with tens of thousands of Australians agreeing the whipping of tired horses in the name of sport is completely unacceptable.
“Urgent changes to Australian whip rules are needed to allow hands and heels races to occur where horses are not permitted to be whipped for performance purposes. Rule changes should specify that whips can still be carried but only used for safety purposes.
“Many other nations already allow hands and heels races, have placed strict limits on when and how horses can be whipped, or have ended whip use altogether.
“It is time for Australia to demonstrate its commitment to racehorse welfare and celebrate good horsemanship where the best horses will still win without being whipped.
“The RSPCA, along with thousands of Australians, implores Racing Australia to seriously consider these important changes to current racing rules to allow for hands and heels racing and better animal welfare,” said Dr Jones.
--- Media-ready images of RSPCA Australia Chief Scientist Dr Bidda Jones and Communications and Campaigns Manager Elise Meakin with petition signatures are available here.
--- Media-ready copy of signatures delivered to Racing Australia are available here.
*The attached creative is a snapshot of the more than 38,295 Australians who signed petitions calling for an end to whipping race horses on either the RSPCA Australia website or on Change.org – a petition created by Penny Josephson.