Target: Peter McGauran, Australian Racing Board, CEO
Goal: Ban the whip used to hit horses during races.
Horses are brutally whipped on Australian racetracks all for the purpose of trying to come in first place. If this practice is not banned, many more horses will experience painful lashings from callous individuals.
In order to try and make a horse run faster, a jockey is allowed to whip his horse five times non-consecutively if the action is performed with a forehanded strike and as long as the striking takes place in the last 100 meters of the race. Even worse, a jockey is allowed to whip a horse however many times he or she would like as long as a backhanded strike is used.
Sadly, it was recently discovered by a veterinarian that a horse’s top layer of skin is even thinner than a human’s, likely making being whipped extremely painful. In fact, when jockeys used a backhanded strike to hit pressure-detecting pads during a particular study, there was much more force applied to the pad than when a forehanded strike was used, invalidating the argument that when a horse is whipped with a backhanded strike, it is less painful than when hit with a forehanded motion.
Frames from another study also showed that horses were left with major lacerations after being whipped numerous times in 15 races. Sixty four percent of those times the unpadded part of the whip hit the horse, making the beatings even more painful than when the padded part was used.
Sign this petition and tell the head of the horse racing industry in Australia that there are better ways to handle horses. If jockeys are incapable of doing so without a whip, they shouldn’t be racing at all.
Dear Mr. McGauran,
Horses are severely whipped on racetracks in Australia every day for no other reason than to try and win a race. If this continues to be allowed, many more horses will be abused.
Although jockeys are only allowed to whip horses a few times at the end of the race using a forehanded strike, using a backhanded strike is allowed throughout the race. Both types of strikes have left lacerations on horses, indicating that both types of whippings are likely extremely painful.
Even though jockeys will only be allowed either “five forehand or backhand whip strikes prior to the 100 meters,” by the end of 2015, these horses are still going to experience pain as long as they continue to be whipped.
For all of these reasons, I urge you to ban this cruel practice. If whips need to be used on horses, the sport should be banned altogether.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Softeis