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Government says it’s OK to Beat Horses

By December 1, 2021No Comments

Yesterday, during GBE scrutiny hearings, the Independent Member for Clark, Kristie Johnston, asked the Minister for Racing if she was aware that the RSPCA has called for the use of whips for thoroughbred and harness racing to be banned. She followed up by asking if the Tasracing Board had discussed the banning, or at least the phasing out of whips and, if so, when did those discussions take place and what was the outcome.

“Unfortunately, except for some platitudes about waiting for a nationally consistent approach to whips, I got nothing useful from the minister,” Ms Johnston said.

“Let me be clear, beating an animal with a stick is cruel. End of story.

“You can’t beat a dog – the law would come after you – but according to the racing minister you can go right ahead and beat a horse. In fact, racing stewards instruct jockeys to carry whips and punish them if they don’t.

“The use of whips in racing is nothing short of government-sanctioned animal cruelty.”

Ms Johnston said that the reform of whip rules would bring Tasmania into line with the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, France and parts of the United States.

“There’s no reason why Tasmania can’t take the lead and ban whips now.

“At the very least Tasracing could support Racing Victoria’s push to phase out whip use by limiting the number of times in a race a rider is allowed to whip their horse.

“The minister touts the economic and employment benefits of racing to Tasmania, but this does not excuse blatant, shameful animal cruelty. The industry is in danger of losing public support and it’s social licence if it continues on this head-in-the-sand pathway.”

“This cruel practice must end now.”

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