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No place for whips in horseracing: Greens

Media Release
Lee Rhiannon 21 Mar 2012

The Australian Greens today threw their weight behind a RSPCA campaign calling for the Australian Racing Board to ban whips as a performance aid in horseracing.

"Horse races are won through a combination of skill, speed and horsemanship, not repeated and painful whipping" said Senator Rhiannon.

"The RSPCA's study found 28 breaches of whip rules including visible indents and striking the horse in its sensitive flank.

"28 breaches across only 15 horse races points to a systematic problem and routine distress for horses.

"The RSPCA study also found that the requirement to pad whips is of little use because over 60 per cent of the instances studied showed jockeys using the unpadded section of the whip.

"In 2011 a research team from the University of Sydney showed that whipping a race horse does not increase its chance of a top three finish. To the contrary their data showed that horses that were not whipped ran faster.

"This research won the Australian Museum Eureka Prize for scientific research that contributes to animal protection.

"The Australian government needs to follow the example of Norway, which banned whips in horseracing in 1982.

"I congratulate the RSPCA for their tireless campaigning to limit cruelty in the horse racing industry", said Senator Rhiannon. 

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