Withhold the Whip in Horse Racing

Animals Queensland Law Rescue Posted May 7, 2021
Study shows that three-quarters of Australians said they do not support the whipping of horses in racing.

People are becoming more aware and conscious of animal welfare and aren’t afraid to stand up for what they believe in. 

A recent independent survey commissioned, but not administered by RSPCA Australia, has revealed that most people support the ban of whips in horse racing. The study explored the level of support that the Australian population gave to the use of whips in horse racing and those who would stop gambling on horses that are no longer being whipped.

Is whipping okay when money is on the line? Absolutely not.

Out of the 1,533 respondents across Australia, only 25% (113 women and 271 men) supported the whipping of horses and the remaining respondents didn’t. Those that attend or bet on horse racing were more likely to agree that whips should be used with the belief that whipped horses are more likely to win races, although this is contrary to scientific belief (click here for more information).

This belief was also more common among lower income earners (earning less than $20K per annum), generally because winning money is paramount and such gamblers believe it will solve their financial problems.

As opposed to high-income earners (earning over $150K per annum) thinking it’s more of a social and trivial activity.

No matter what reason one may have for supporting the whipping of horses, it is urged that all individuals make a conscious effort to cap the price horses pay for human entertainment. We now live in an era where hitting animals in any other arena is considered unacceptably cruel, therefore why is whipping exhausted horses any different?

Animal welfare or the whip?

It has been argued that whipping tired horses in racing is the most televised form of violence to animals but it is clear that societal values and consumer preferences are changing as people become more aware of issues surrounding animal welfare. 

There is a growing concern around pushing animals to their limits with techniques that can causes them pain. While padded whips are used in Australian horse racing, these whips still cause a visual indentation on horses and 64% of the impacts from the whip are from the unpadded section. 

It was found that horses, on average achieve their highest speeds when the horses aren’t whipped. However, horses are seen to be whipped more when they reach higher levels of fatigue, causing them more pain than necessary.

Most of the participants that were identified as racing enthusiasts said they would continue to attend and gamble on horse racing if the whip was banned.  So if race enthusiasts believe it’s time to eliminate the whip in racing, then you should consider it too! 

You can do your part by using the hashtag #lovepartieshatewhips on social media to show your support against whips in racing or you can click here and send your petition to Racing Australia to end the use of whips in Australia, once and for all.  

Horse Whips

Would you still watch/bet on a horses if the whip was banned?

Ruby Stewart
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