RSPCA is opposed to the use of animals for any kind of entertainment, exhibition or performance where injury, suffering or distress is likely to be caused. Welfare issues can arise as a result of the performance itself, but also through training, transport, housing and handling associated with such use

What are some welfare issues related to horses in sport & entertainment?

  • Young Horses - RSPCA is opposed to the racing of immature horses. Find out more.
  • Wastage - RSPCA supports initiatives to reduce overbreeding and rehoming problems in the horse racing industry, thousands of young and often healthy horses are sent to knackeries and abattoirs every year. Find out more.
  • Devices that are used to control behaviour or performance
  • Whips and spurs – The RSPCA is opposed to the use of traditional contact whips and spurs due to their potential for inflicting pain and injury. Find out more.
  • Stereotypic behaviours - RSPCA Australia does not support the use of devices to prevent stereotypic behaviours in horses (such as wind sucking and crib biting) that are likely to cause injury, suffering or distress. Management of stereotypes should aim to address the underlying cause of the behaviour rather than the symptoms.
  • Surgical husbandry procedures - RSPCA is opposed to any surgical husbandry procedure carried out on horses for which there is no established need or that is performed to overcome the adverse effects of selective breeding. Find out more.
  • Some horses who fail at Spring Carnival are placed into the Jumps Racing Circuit the following year. RSPCA is opposed to jumping races (steeplechasing and hurdling) because of the high probability of a horse suffering serious injury or even death as a result of participating in these events. Find out more.