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'Protesters want public to consider animal rights when it comes to horse racing'

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Animal liberation activists will be protesting The Wellington Cup asking the public to consider animal rights when it comes to horse racing in 2020.

"We saw 19 horses killed on New Zealand racetracks in 2019" said Frances Baker, Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses (CPR) spokesperson. "Horses are being forced to run for their lives and will feel the beat of the stick if they do not go fast enough"

"Horses are being used as commodities. They are seen as money making machines as they are pushed beyond their physical capabilities to make sure that they earn their connections big money."

"Exhausted, they are flogged to the finish line placing them at risk of breaking bones, suffering heart attacks and internal bleeding for human entertainment. Studies have shown that 90% of racehorses have blood deep in their lungs."

Other less obvious abuses occur behind the scenes.

"Learned helplessness is defined a psychological condition whereby individuals learn that they have no control over unpleasant or harmful conditions, that their actions are futile, and that they are helpless."

"How can we justify supporting an industry that places animals in these harmful physical and mental states, then often kills them so that we can dress up, get drunk or bet on their lives? It is their body, their lives, not ours."

"We hope that racegoers take the time to sit back and reflect on what is really happening here. They would be quick to save their own pets from harm but here today, in horse racing, animals are put in harms way for a 'sport' which is now finally starting to be considered by the public court of opinion as unacceptable as the rodeo and circus" Ms Baker said.

CPR is confident that there is a shift occurring in the public. "The younger generation are thinking about animal rights and the use of animals for entertainment." Ms Baker said.

In response, the industry continues to use popular artists to lure the younger generation towards supporting horse racing.

"We are disappointed to see that Ladi6 and Stan Walker will be playing at this Wellington Cup. We do not want to see the younger generation be fooled into thinking that it is OK to promote animal cruelty. The public would all agree that they are against animal abuse, but by turning up at the races to see these performers, these actions are not in line with those morals."

CPR is calling on all animal lovers and those who stand for justice to join them at the Wellington Cup protest from 10.30am to speak up for horse racing's 2019 victims and the many more to come.

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