A LEGAL and peaceful protest organised by Ban Animal Trading South Africa against what the organisation calls the unethical and exploitative horse racing industry, was held outside Greyville Racecourse on Saturday during the Vodacom Durban July.
According to the organisation, behind the glitz and glamour, fancy hats and designer dresses there is a dark side to horse racing. Speaking to Berea Mail on Saturday, Prathna Singh from Ban Animal Trading, said the turnout for the protest was better than expected.
“Our biggest challenge is that most people are unaware of the dark side of horse racing. It is a big obstacle for us to educate people as to why we are here. This is our first protest of this kind and even though it will be a long process, we are confident that once people are aware, they will make better choices,” she said.
The organisation’s Kathy Raffray said as with dog racing, circus animals, dolphin shows and rodeos, it was unethical and abusive to use animals for human entertainment. The organisation said for years horses have been bred to run fast and as a result, thoroughbreds have oversized frames and undersized legs so injuries were commonplace.
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“Horses begin training or are already racing when their skeletal systems are still growing and are unprepared to handle the pressures of competition racing on a hard track at high speeds. Horses are often made dependent on the drugs that their veterinarians and trainers provide and many horses are raced so often that their joints and bones deteriorate unnaturally. At retirement and when the horses lose their value, they are often slaughtered for consumption, for dog food and for glue production,” she said.
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