MEDIA RELEASE: “It’s time to ban whips in horse racing and ban sending racehorses to knackeries”: NSW Animal Justice Party MP Mark Pearson to introduce controversial horse racing bill to NSW Parliament

Upper House MP for the Animal Justice Party, Mark Pearson, will introduce a bill to NSW Parliament this month to ban the use of whips, tongue-ties and spurs in horse racing.

Mr Pearson is set to introduce his bill to NSW Parliament on Wednesday, November 18.

“Whips, spurs, and tongue-ties are all inherently cruel and completely unnecessary,” he said.

“Just because their use is legal doesn’t make it right. Race horses are whipped repeatedly – in any other circumstance, this would be deemed animal cruelty and prosecutable under the law.”

The bill will also criminalise sending ex-racehorses to knackeries, and put in place a birth-to-death racehorse registration and rehoming scheme.

“Every year in Australia, approximately one-third of racehorses are retired from racing, but there’s no record of what happens to them,” Mr Pearson said.

“What we do know is that Australia has around 30 knackeries that slaughter horses for pet meat, and two abattoirs that slaughter houses for human consumption, so it’s not hard to join the dots.”

“Around 30% of foals bred into the industry will never run a race, as they’re deemed ‘wastage’, or useless to the industry, and killed,” he continued.

“This is why birth-to-death tracking is so important.”

Mr Pearson also reflected on the timeliness of the bill.

On November 12, a scientific paper was published proving horses have the capability to feel as much pain from whipping as humans.

The report, authored by Professor Paul McGreevy from the University of Sydney, was published in the peer-reviewed online journal ‘Animals’, and is the first of its kind.

“I’m sure many people won’t be surprised by Professor McGreevy’s findings, but to have a scientific study prove this point is vital in the fight to protect race horses,” Mr Pearson said.

“As recently as September CEO of Racing NSW Peter V’Landys said ‘we’ve got to educate the public the whip doesn’t hurt’.”

“I wonder what Mr V’Landys will say in response to the publication of this study?”