Thoroughbred Racing SA have indicated they will go ahead with their planned meet at Morphettville Racecourse this Friday, despite the current heatwave and a forecast of 44oC that day.
The Greens have condemned the decision for Friday’s races to go ahead pointing to a lack of preventative powers in the state’s animal welfare legislation as a major hurdle for bodies such as the RSPCA to prevent cruelty to animals used in this industry for entertainment and gambling.
Tammy Franks MLC, SA Greens’ Spokesperson for Animal Welfare, has said that this is yet another reason why we need stronger animal welfare laws in our State.
In 2019 Ms Franks introduced a bill for animal welfare law reform which would strengthen the ability of RSPCA Inspectors to act to prevent animal cruelty. She will push that bill to a vote in the new year.
The following quotes are attributable to Tammy Franks MLC:
“Our state is facing a severe heatwave, we rightly have a code red for those that are homeless, various events have been postponed across the state to avoid the heat and we rightly have alerts and reminders out for the protection of native and companion animals alike but those warnings have not been heeded by the horse racing industry, who have disturbingly insisted that their show must go on.
“That they are pushing forward with a horse race in a heatwave shows how out of touch they are. Taking a gamble that the weather will change just in time rather than waiting even one more day to better ensure the safety and welfare of these animals speaks volumes about where their true priorities lie.
“This industry has form when it comes to cruelty. An industry based on making money from animals as entertainment and gambling. We can’t possibly now just trust them to do the right thing on the day. If we had a prevention power in the Animal Welfare Act we could see the RSPCA step in.
“This is why our state Animal Welfare Act must be bolstered to allow powers to prevent cruelty, not just prosecute after the fact. To our shame we have the weakest animal welfare laws in the nation, and once again we may well see harm being done to animals in the name of entertainment and profiteering which should be entirely preventable.