Greens SA MLC Tammy Franks has reintroduced her Bill to ban jumps racing today. The timing is fitting, as the 1st of August is taken to be the Southern Hemisphere birthday of all horses.
If the bill passed, a ban would take effect a year after the passage of the bill meaning 2019 would be the least season of jumps races in SA.
Quotes attributable to Ms Franks: It’s over a century since the last jumps race was held in Queensland, almost 30 years since a Senate Committee recommended it be phased out across the nation, and over 20 years since the NSW Parliament voted to ban it.
Only Victoria and South Australia still host jumps races and with good reason. It’s on the nose. Time and time again jumps racing has proven dangerous for jockeys and deadly for the horses. 19 more times deadly than flats racing and I cannot think of a better gift for these horses on their birthday than to finally ban this cruelty.
Punters and sponsors alike have been voting with their feet for some time on this issue and almost all of the 1,811 submissions to the 2016 Select Committee wanted to see the end of jumps racing, what they got was another reprieve (3 more years) for a part of the industry that almost all acknowledge is itself on its last legs. Today we wish the horses on their Southern Hemisphere birthday many happy returns and a legislated end to the cruelty once and for all next year.
That Select Committee excluded cross bench MPs and railed against a ban in its very formation but even that – with the odds stacked against a ban - gave the industry only three years to clean up its act. This is a new Parliament and the debate just got a fresh start and a new field.