HORESERACING HAS has been a popular sport for hundreds of years but it could be time to put the sport to rest, writes Danni Cox. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) have been campaigning for changes in international horseracing law since last year’s winner of the Kentucky Derby had to be put down after breaking both of her front ankles at the finishing line.
PETAs campaign is not calling for a ban on horseracing, but for the development of more ethical regulations, including a ban on the use of whips in racing and on racing on hard surfaces.
The British Horseracing Authority says that “the safety and welfare of the horse is of paramount importance to everyone involved in racing”, and that the rules and regulations which currently exist are intended to protect the animals.
However, the charity Animal Aid states that more than 200 racehorses have been killed on British racecourses in 2007, evidence that the existing regulations do not offer sufficient protection to the animal.
Are restrictions on the use of horses in sport sufficient? Is it ethical to use horses in sports? Does the industry fail the racehorse? These are just some of the questions that Animal Aid’s horse racing consultant, Dene Stansall, and Coventry University’s own Terri Byers will attempt to answer in the Hillman Theatre tomorrow.
Tomorrow afternoon’s Play The Game world sports conference will focus on the use of animals, primarily racehorses in sport, and whether it is truly use or abuse.