Racing Victoria’s decision to continue jumps racing is wrong

Greens MP, Sue Pennicuik expressed dismay and frustration at the announcement today by Racing Victoria to continue jumps racing in Victoria. Racing Victoria has announced another nine new conditions on the conduct of jumps racing, in addition to those imposed after the Jones Review.

"These new 'safety conditions' just go to show how dangerous this so called sport is. Racing Victoria has admitted that even these new conditions will not prevent further deaths and injuries arising from jumps racing, which was described by Australian Jumping Racing Association president Rodney Rae, as an 'extreme sport.' *

"I agree that jumps racing is extreme - extremely dangerous, extremely cruel and extremely out of date. It is not acceptable to put horses at such risk of death and injury and most people in the community are rightly upset," Ms Pennicuik said.

"I don' agree with Minister Hulls that the right decision has been made. Unfortunately this will prove to be the wrong decision, yet again. The majority of the community don't want more reviews, they want jumps racing stopped," she said.

"It should never have been left up to Racing Victoria to make this decision. It was totally expected that it would put the commercial interests of the racing industry before the safety and welfare of horses.

"The state government should intervene on behalf of horses and stop jumps racing once and for all. This should be achieved with a transition package for those involved and a program to find homes for retired jumps horses," she said.

"All Australian states except Victoria and South Australia seem to be able to exist without jumps racing. It's about time that Victoria joined the 21st century and banned this backward and totally anachronistic so called sport."

* On Radio 774 18/05/09

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