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Asian RC 8: McGauran Warns Against "Knee-Jerks"

Tuesday, 13th April 2010

Director of the California Horseracing Board & high-profile actress Bo Derek told a panel discussion on horse welfare: "No horse gets the quality of care a & treatment that the racehorse gets. It is in their nature to run." Derek said racing needs to "take a pro-active approach & educate the public that racehorses are willing participants in our sport". RSPCA Australia chief executive Heather Neil said changing the whip rules in Australia has been a positive move, but added the RSPCA is against contact whips in all forms. She also stated the RSPCA is against 2YO racing, unless it could be shown that 2YOs presented at the races were "mature enough to cope". Neil advocated an independent panel of vets to arbitrate when a 2YO "is forward enough to race". Thoroughbred Breeders Australian chief executive Peter McGauran countered the RSPCA positions, emphasising racing "is the most regulated equine industry & this naturally leads to a higher state of care from participants". McGauran noted: "The racing industry needs to be careful that we don't keep shifting to appease groups that cannot be appeased. Any decisions on changes should be undertaken in line with the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities guidelines to 'protect the safety of the horse & rider' & we as an industry should react in a calm, responsible way without making knee-jerk decisions."

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