What horses want

Central and North Burnett Times - - YOUR SAY -

TRA­DI­TION­ALLY, Au­gust 1 is recog­nised in the South­ern Hemi­sphere as every horse’s birth­day.

The big day has just passed, and to cel­e­brate the oc­ca­sion in 2017, RSPCA Aus­tralia has re­leased a Birth­day Wish List on be­half of Aus­tralian horses, us­ing the op­por­tu­nity to draw at­ten­tion to sev­eral key an­i­mal wel­fare is­sues. BIRTH­DAY WISH 1: NO WHIPS IN RAC­ING

Re­search shows that whip­ping a horse does not in­crease the chance of a horse fin­ish­ing first, sec­ond or third. In fact, 98% of horses are be­ing whipped with­out it in­flu­enc­ing the race out­come, while 9 out of 10 pun­ters would still watch and bet on rac­ing with­out whips. The RSPCA sup­ports the in­tro­duc­tion of hands-and-heels rac­ing, where whips are no longer used rou­tinely but may be car­ried for safety pur­poses where proven nec­es­sary. Top per­for­mance horses need great ge­net­ics, great prepa­ra­tion and great horse­man­ship; and whip­ping shouldn’t come into it. BIRTH­DAY WISH 2: NO JUMPS RAC­ING

In jumps rac­ing, horses are sub­jected to a dan­ger­ous sport where they are re­quired to jump over many fences at speed, while run­ning long dis­tances.

Jumps have proven to be deadly for horses and dan­ger­ous for jock­eys. Jumps rac­ing is now out­lawed in most states and ter­ri­to­ries of Aus­tralia, yet sadly it con­tin­ues in South Aus­tralia and Vic­to­ria. BIRTH­DAY WISH 3: NO RISK OF LIVE EX­PORT OF HORSES

In May, the Aus­tralian Gov­ern­ment Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture con­firmed that it had re­ceived a num­ber of en­quiries about ex­port­ing horses, ponies and don­keys ‘in large num­bers for slaugh­ter’ and that it was de­vel­op­ing reg­u­la­tions to fa­cil­i­tate the trade. You can add your voice to help stop this cruel trade be­fore it starts!

BIRTH­DAY WISH 4: NO CRU­ELTY OR NE­GLECT

No an­i­mal should ever face cru­elty or ne­glect, and horses are par­tic­u­larly at risk be­cause they are large, com­plex an­i­mals that can be ex­pen­sive to care for. In the 2015/2016 fi­nan­cial year, the RSPCA in­ves­ti­gated a to­tal of 62,714 com­plaints of cru­elty and pro­vided on­go­ing care for 485 horses. It’s ev­ery­one’s re­spon­si­bil­ity to re­port an­i­mal cru­elty or ne­glect when we see it; and if you can help find a for­ever home for a horse cur­rently in the RSPCA’s care, start by vis­it­ing Adop­tapet.

To fol­low this is­sue, sign up to the RSPCA’s e-news at www.rspca.org.au. — Jane Speech­ley RSPCA Aus­tralia spoke­woman

SHARE YOUR VIEWS: Let­ters to the ed­i­tor can be emailed to ed­i­to­rial@south­bur­nett­times .com.au or mailed to PO Box 312, Kin­garoy, Qld, 4610. All let­ters are sub­ject to edit­ing. Anony­mous let­ters will not be pub­lished.

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