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Ascot 2008: Horse death and suffering behind the glamour
Posted 17 June 2008
As the glamour and opulence of Royal Ascot take centre stage in the British racing year, it is well to remember that the lesser lights of the racing game - the horses - are still, as ever, vulnerable to death and injury.
The industry's breeding programme, aimed at turning out winners, continues to over-produce. That leads to thousands of 'failed' Thoroughbreds falling by the wayside to uncertain futures. For many, that means the slaughterhouse.
At Ascot this week, horses will be beaten with the whip in an attempt to gain a win at all costs, with little concern for the horses who are frightened or physically harmed by its use.
The horse racing industry has enjoyed for too long potent propaganda and support from important sections of the media. Animal Aid is working to redress the balance by putting race horses' rights to the fore and have the issues debated in public.
Says Animal Aid Director, Andrew Tyler:
'Where once the fate of race horses was concealed behind a wall of silence, and rules and regulations were made behind closed doors, times are changing. Welfare issues are being vigorously debated on a daily basis. Our campaigns have made real progress but there is a long, hard road ahead to get justice for these nervous and gentle animals.'