Senator Mehreen Faruqi, who is the Deputy Leader of the Australian Greens party and animal welfare spokesperson, has urged the Melbourne Cup to become “whip-free” following news that an international jockey has been banned from the race after violating the whipping rules in the UK.
He insisted on making the next Melbourne Cup whip-free and shared that, in his opinion, that was the least that could be done to protect horses from the cruelty and pain associated with racing. Senator Faruqi shared that if the banned jockey had been whipping the horse in an Australia-based race, he might have faced no penalty whatsoever because the country’s whipping rules were worse than the ones in the UK. According to him, this comes as a testament to how little the horse racing industry cares about the animals.
The public incentive to have the Melbourne Cup has significantly grown since the beginning of the campaign, as witnessed in The Melbourne Cup Parade’s recent cancellation after the #NupToTheCup campaign and a number of successful animal welfare campaigns.
Mr Faruqi welcomed the ban imposed on the jockey for the violation of British whipping rules but also shared that a ban on whipping would be a much more effective measure. He also reminded that, currently, jockeys are not subject to any limits on whipping in the final 100 metres of a race, and that is simply horrendous.
Competent Authorities Should Impose Full Ban on Whipping during Horse Races, Campaigners Say
The Deputy Leader of the Australian Greens party is concerned that the Melbourne Cup, which he described as “another festival of cruelty” is just around the corner, and literally nothing is done to address the calls to end the race. Protesters and animal welfare groups have been fighting to put an end to animal cruelty and horse racing but there have been little to no measures have been taken by the competent bodies to tackle the problem.
According to Senator Faruqi, the use of whips needed to be banned, but even that measure would not be enough to protect horses from cruelty. He believes that putting an end to commercial horse racing once and for all would be the only way to adequately tackle horses’ suffering.
He explained that the Melbourne Cup seemed to be quickly losing its credibility because people were no longer willing to take part in what comes as a celebration of animal cruelty. According to him, the Melbourne Cup’s days are numbered.
Under the current racing rules in the UK, a maximum of 6 whips per race are allowed. In comparison, Australian racing rules impose a 5-whip limit but unlimited whipping is allowed in the last 100 metres of the race. The governing principal racing authority Racing Victoria has openly supported a proposal to reduce whips in horse races in Australia to keep the social licence of the sport intact. The group, however, does not believe that whips are a welfare issue.
On the other hand, a senate committee suggested that whipping in horse races should have been fully banned more than 30 years ago, saying that the use of whips to inflict pain on a horse cannot be justified.
Daniel Williams has started his writing career as a freelance author at a local paper media. After working there for a couple of years and writing on various topics, he found his interest for the gambling industry.