Whipping race horses is not only cruel, it also does not make them run faster, says latest research

Posted on the 2nd February 2011

Animal Aid has campaigned for many years to abolish the use of the whip in horse racing. Our 2010 report, 'Beaten To The Line', shows the extent of the maltreatment that takes place on a daily basis in British racing.

It highlights repeated beatings of individual horses resulting in raw flesh wounds. It also names the out-of-control jockeys who offend again and again without fear of adequate preventive sanctions. This report supported our 2004 findings published in A Hiding To Nothing, which, in addition to giving prominence to major welfare problems, showed that horses were less likely to win races when whipped more than their fellow racing equines.

Now, new evidence from scientists in Australia has also concluded that use of the whip does not make horses run any faster. This is a blow for the racing industry’s regulators and jockeys who rigorously and erroneously, defend such public abuse of equines.

Says Animal Aid’s Horse Racing Consultant, Dene Stansall:

This important and informative research supports Animal Aid’s own findings. It is further proof that whipping is nothing other than blatant cruelty to horses, who can be seen to be beaten on a daily basis. Importantly, this evidence will strengthen the case for a total ban on the use of the whip.

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