In 2020, Anthony Van Dyke became the seventh horse to die from the Melbourne Cup since 2013. According to Fox Sports, this led to strong opposition to the event, with the hashtag #NupToTheCup trending on social media. But the Cup just took place again in November 2021, and there is no sign of it stopping in the near future. It’s simply too profitable to go down without a fight, with prize money alone summing to $8 million.
Horse racing is an inherently cruel sport. It is cruel, first, on the mothers, or “brood mares,” who are pregnant for over 90% of their lives. Breeders separate them from their foals just six months after they give birth. Then, when the horses are past their breeding prime, the breeders send them off to slaughterhouses—to make certain that others cannot use them to breed competition. And it is cruel, of course, on the racehorses themselves, from the moment they are born and separated from their mothers.
Just as humans breed chickens and turkeys to grow unnaturally fat, unnaturally quickly, depriving them of natural behaviors and causing them to live painful lives, humans breed racehorses to optimize their speed, even at heightened risk of injury. Exacerbating these genetic risk factors, racehorses typically begin racing by two years of age when their bodies are still developing.
Breeders and trainers also subject racehorses to cruelty, just by nature of the sport. Trainers “break” their horses, or teach them to obey human commands, using cribbing collars, nose chains, tongue ties, and whips. And they often keep horses locked in 12×12 stalls for up to 23 hours per day. Finally, for a fairy-tale ending, racehorses are often slaughtered within the first few years of their lives, even though their natural lifespans would be thirty years, give or take.
It is unnecessary to exploit animals for human entertainment. Sign this petition and ask the Australian government to ban horse racing.
To continue speaking up, sign these other petitions as well:
- Stop Carriage Horse Rides in New York City
- Pass the SAFE Act to Protect Horses From Slaughter
- Ban Horse Racing in the U.S.
- Ban Horse Competitions in the Olympics
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