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RSPCA Calls For Whip Ban On 2YOs

Friday, 18th December 2009

The RSPCA "has called for a ban on the whip being used on 2YO thoroughbreds," reported The Sydney Morning Herald. The animal welfare group "welcomed the Australian racing industry's review on whip use" but "has no doubt draft measures need strengthening & called for minimum design standards for whips that reduce pain & injury". The RSPCA also called for: a minimum set of nationally consistent standards that define the terms "excessive, improper & unnecessary"; the term "injury" should be clearly defined; all horses "must be inspected for welts & bruises immediately after a race"; & penalties "should be in line with, if not higher than, existing State Prevention Of Cruelty Acts". RSPCA Australia chief executive Heather Neil declared: "These draft measures are certainly an important 1st step in addressing the excessive use of whips in Australian racing, but they still leave too much open to interpretation. Whips can cause pain, bruising & inflammation & a horse whipped excessively in any other context would be protected by state-based animal cruelty laws. People are so accustomed to jockeys whipping their horses that it's not necessarily deemed as cruel." Racing NSW chief steward Ray Murrihy & counterparts interstate "have driven the whip issue & presented a list of recommendations to the Australian Racing Board" which called for submissions from all sectors of the racing industry & all other interested parties. Murrihy commented: "When you ask for consultation, you get a lot of differing views. How would you satisfy every party in this debate?" (Feb 12)

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