Yesterday (29th June), Animal Aid posted a news item on the home page of their web-site titled ‘RSPCA members vote to ban the whip in racing’.
‘… In a move that is likely to prove critical to the outcome of the racing industry’s current review of the future of the whip, the RSPCA membership has declared its opposition to jockeys whipping horses, except for safety reasons. At present, most whip use is aimed at pressing horses to ‘perform’ better.
The industry’s regulatory body, the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), is engaged in a wide-ranging review of the whip – a process due to end in October. The issue has become all the more urgent because of the public outcry over the exhausted and dehydrated Grand National winner, Ballabriggs, being thrashed in the final stages of the race. An even more significant development was Towcester racecourse’s announcement in April that it intended to ban all whip use from its races – except for safety reasons – starting in October.
At the RSPCA’s 25 June Annual General Meeting, the membership overwhelmingly supported a motion demanding that, ‘the whip should only be used for safety purposes in the backhand position, and that the penalty for contravening the above rule should be the forfeiture of the race and purse by the jockey, the owner and the trainer…’
Animal Aid has campaigned against the whip for 10 years. It recently ran an advert in seven national newspapers calling on the public to send ‘Ban the Whip’ postcards to the Chief Executives of the leading racecourse operators, as well as the BHA and the Secretary of State for Sport, Jeremy Hunt.
The RSPCA, until the AGM vote, had not declared its clear opposition to use of the whip for ‘encouragement’. Its intervention, as the industry decides the whip’s future, is likely to be highly influential …’
Read the item in full at www.animalaid.org.uk/h/n/NEWS/news_horse/ALL/2517//