Today was a public holiday here in Adelaide for a horse race.
Now I love a public holiday and a 3 day weekend as much as the next person but I am having a bit of trouble relaxing thinking about the poor souls that compete in this race and whom are really the reason I don’t have to work today.
Horse racing is a horrific industry but just going for a horse ride is pretty damn unethical, each horse must first be “broken in” which is a nice way of saying break their spirit before you can even dump your heavy body on their back often on top of a heavy saddle and then make them carry you around till you are tired, no thought to how tired the horse is.
Race horses have if far worse, around Australia 31,000 thoroughbreds will be “in training’, here are just a few atrocities these poor animals face:
- The thoroughbred has been specially breed for high speeds with its frame too large and its ankles too small which leads to dangerous conditions when racing.
- The horses are raced at two years old which puts immense pressure on their young skeletal system which is not ready for the hard training and physical stress of racing.
- Race horses are often seen more as a business transaction than a sensitive animal.
- Most of horse racing is not big names and well publicized races but small and frequent which mean that thousands of race horses are trucked, shipped and flown to thousands of races each year with no real place to call home.
- A lot of the horses are kept in small stables the practice called “Stabling” with little to no interaction with other horses except around race time. This can cause the horses to develop severe behavior issues including biting on fences and other fixed objects and self mutilation.
- Many horses can suffer muscular-skeletal injuries such as torn ligaments and tendons, dislocated joints and fractured bones just during training.
- These horses are pushed hard from a young age and are pumped full of legal and sometime illegal drugs to mask the pain from injuries and enhance their performance.
- As the care for owning a ex-race horse is quite expensive many owners rather than letting their horse retire to a paddock send them to the slaughter house.
- Many horses are sent to slaughter and local knackeries to be used for pet food.
- Most horses who are sent to slaughter at the 2 horse abattoirs in Australia, one in South Australia the other in Queensland. These horses are forced to endure days of transport in cramped trailers with no access to water or food.
- Approximately 2,00 tonnes of horse meat is exported from Australia for human consumption in Japan and Europe annually.
- Over 25,000 horses are killed this way in Australia per year!
These poor animals do not deserve to live their lives like this all so that someone can put some money on a race. We should not get given a extra day off work to relax whilst these poor animals are literally running for their lives.