Another jumps racing death is an indictment on the Weatherill Government’s commitment to animal welfare say the Greens. ‘Surface to Air’ broke down yesterday whilst competing in the 3280m distance hurdle at Murray Bridge and was later euthanised. This is the second horse in South Australia and the seventh reported fall this season. This was only the second jumps race held at Murray Bridge this year, both have been marred by falls. The first race at Murray bridge had four horses start but only two finished due to falls.
Greens Animal Welfare spokesperson, Tammy Franks MLC said: “These deaths are all preventable if only the State Labor Government would ban jumps racing in South Australia. The select committee recommended a ‘falls KPIs’ of 3% a figure that has already been more than quadrupled.
“This season we’ve seen two horses come to their death during the race and there have been seven reported falls in South Australia alone. We know that jumps racing makes up only a tiny proportion of the horse racing industry, yet a jumps race is far more likely to see a horse death or injury than a flat race.
“The parliamentary inquiry into Jumps Racing granted three more years to the industry, effectively closing it down at the end of 2019 season – by prolonging these races the Weatherill Government has prolonged the cruelty. Not only giving this industry a three year free pass but adding a budget boost of a $3 million to Thoroughbred Racing SA rubs salt into the wounds.
“This industry should not be prolonged and it should certainly not be propped up with $3 million public money.
“Queensland stopped jumps racing in 1903, WA in 1941 and the sport was banned in NSW in 1997. The last race was held in Tasmania in 2007. It has now been more than twenty years since the 1991 Senate Inquiry recommended jumps racing be phased out. Victoria and SA are the only remaining Australian states that still retain this archaic practice and the SA government has failed to act,” Ms Franks said.
“The recommendations of the select committee are not being met and the reality is they are not even binding on the industry and this latest death shows yet again why a three year stay for these races was actually a death sentence for the horses. Time and again jumps racing has proven dangerous for jockeys and deadly for our race horses. It’s time to stop the carnage,” Ms Franks concluded.