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RSPCA Declares Warrnambool A "Killing Fields"

Wednesday, 4th May 2011

The RSPCA declared Warrnambool racecourse has become a "killing fields" after another horse died in the 1st jumps race on the opening day of its May carnival. Jockey Michelle Hagley was taken to Warrnambool Base Hospital "for observation" after her mount Shine The Armour crashed through the 2nd-last jump & died on the track. Yesterday's death was the 3rd in Victoria this year & RSPCA Victoria president Dr Hugh Wirth, calling again for jumps racing to be banned in the state, told The Herald-Sun that horses died "with great frequency" at Warrnambool, emphasising: "Warrnambool, of course, is the killing fields for horses. That's how bad it is. Every time they do something at Warrnambool there are deaths." Similarly Animal Australia executive director Glenys Oogjes called for the remaining 2 days of the carnival (which combines flat & jumps racing) to be cancelled, adding: "This is an appalling outcome from the very first jumps race at Warrnambool. It must surely demonstrate again to the Victorian government that jumps racing is highly dangerous & cannot be made safe for horses or jockeys." However Australian Jumps Association president Rodney Rae retorted it was "impossible to completely eliminate fatalities" & noted: "Our objective is to manage the risk & minimise those incidents, because any industry that has animal participation in it, you are going to have incidents & fatalities from time to time. It's as simple as that. So they happen. It's upsetting, but we just have to get on with the job as it's part of an industry."

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