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Calls For A Ban Amidst Controversial Horse Racing Deaths

The horse racing industry is being called into question yet again in this past week, with the death of two horses on two consecutive days. The fatalities have ignited grave concerns regarding the welfare and protection of racehorses, prompting the Animal Justice Party Aotearoa NZ (AJP) to call for a ban.

Sarah Jackson, AJP candidate for Christchurch Central, stated that horses losing their lives for entertainment and profit is completely unacceptable. "In little over a year, there have been 18 deaths of racehorses on New Zealand tracks, that’s one death every 20 days. And these are the ones we know about, and don’t include horses who are killed as a result of injuries sustained through training, trials, or the unwanted racehorses who are sent to slaughter every year."

The recent troubling incidents include:

  • A four-year-old mare called "AROWOFDIAMONDS" who broke her hind cannon bone and was euthanized on the track at Riccarton Park in Christchurch on Wednesday, 13th September. Footage of the race was withheld by NZTR, with the industry stating, "Due to an incident during this race, the footage won't be posted."
  • "KHAN'S CLOWN", who was raced to death at Awapuni in Palmerston North on Thursday, 14th September, was also only four years old. The valiant gelding would have been in terrible pain as, heavily whipped by jockey Kate Hercock, he crossed the line ahead of the field, despite having two fractures in his left fore leg. Moments later Khan’s Clown was killed.
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These successive incidents have sparked outrage among animal advocates, who say that the removal of incidents from race replays raise questions about transparency within the industry. The absence of these events from the public eye intensifies the need for open and honest communication about the welfare and safety of racehorses.

"Despite the Industry being shrouded in secrecy, the stark realities of horseracing are beginning to filter out to the taxpaying public, and horseracing is losing its social licence." said Sandra Kyle, AJP candidate for Whanganui, "Our government throws money at the industry, literally funding the suffering and killing of horses but New Zealanders are beginning to turn their backs on the racing industry and refusing to support cruelty, and addiction to the gambling dollar at the horse’s expense."

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