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No Bailout For New Zealand's Dying Horse Racing Industry

The New Zealand public and thoroughbred animal rights groups are disappointed at the recently announced $72.5 million payout towards animal abuse.

The Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses (CPR) have launched an online petition (here) to pressure the government to withdraw its recent $72.5 million racing bailout and redirect taxpayer funds into essential services and innovative, sustainable and cruelty-free businesses.

CPR are shocked and angered to hear of the large bailout for what is a dying industry for the country.

"The public are angry that their tax money is being spent on a sport that hurts and exploits animals for entertainment, and baffled that racing is even considered an essential sport at a time when New Zealanders’ priority should be their health and their lives." Said CPR Wellington spokesperson Frances Baker

“There are no kings in racing, just tired and abused horses. Horse racing is 21st century legalised cruelty, and it belongs in the history books” she said.

“Money, as the saying goes, is like a bird with wings - it can fly away if you are not careful. This injection of cash by the Government to a sunset industry is an ill-advised plan that has probably come about because of pressure by Winston Peters.” Ms Baker said.

A quick look at New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing (NZTR) Annual Reports over the past decade will show that horse racing has been in financial decline for a number of years. The younger generation are more concerned about animal rights than their parents and grandparents were, and no longer see a need to attend an event or gamble on putting innocent beings’ welfare at risk. 

“Studies have shown that while horses are being flogged to win money for their owners, they are bleeding deep in their lungs, having heart attacks, and breaking bones. Ninety percent of racehorses are affected by equine gastric ulcers. This is beyond disgusting and shocking, and we would all agree that we wouldn't treat our pets the way we treat these horses both on and off the track.” Ms Baker said.

CPR highlights that there are not sufficient retirement/rehabilitation homes for the amount of thoroughbreds that are bred and that thousands of horses remain unaccounted for by the racing industry each year. As well as horses who are sent to slaughter after they fail to perform, CPR asked NZTR what happens to those who don’t make the cut and never make it to the track? How many are killed offsite for financial gain? NZTR informed CPR that they simply did not know. 

“We are a land of ‘Rugby, Racing and Beer’, apparently. But not anymore. Just because horse racing has been a kiwi institution for so many years doesn't make it acceptable in the 21st century - just like using animals in circuses or rodeo is now unacceptable. Times change.” Ms Baker said.

You can find CPR’s petition here: http://chng.it/4WsKZSfXbP

“Our petition calls for government to urgently withdraw the racing industry’s bailout package and redirect the funds to essential services and innovative, sustainable and cruelty-free businesses models.” Ms Baker said.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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