Animal Liberation Victoria
Racing Victoria (Australia) has suspended jumps racing, effective immediately, after a third horse had to be put down at this year's Warrnambool carnival. Twelve horses died during hurdle and steeplechase races in 2008.
Racing Victoria Limited (RVL) today announced that jumps racing will end in 2010. It is a move RVL should have made a long time ago and sadly the deaths from this cruel "sport" will no doubt continue until the decision comes into effect next year. Twelve horses died during hurdle and steeplechase races in 2008. In 2009 the percentage of falls rose to 5.09 (from 3.02 in the previous year).
Public opposition to jumps racing has been on the steady increase with large protests at racing events being regularly featured in the media. In the Herald Sun, RVL chairman Michael Duffy has said "The board could not allow jumps racing to wither on the vine or, worse still, become the victim of an immediate knee jerk ban at some future point in time". In other words they have known that a ban was inevitable in the near future and made the preemptive decision to avoid having their image tainted in the future.
This announcement by RVL has now put serious doubts over the future of jumps racing in South Australia, which is the only remaining state to continue this cruel sport. Barry Dunn of the South Australian Trainers Association predicts that jumps racing in SA will not last more than one year after RVL's decision comes into effect.
This is an important victory for all of the horses who after 2010, will no longer have to risk their lives on the track.
ALV would like to thank the members of our youth group Animal Liberation Youth for their hard work and support at so many of the jumps racing protests. Your commitment has helped to achieve this major win for horses.