Government urged to immediately suspend all horse and dog racing

Tuesday, March 24, 2020
  • In stark contradiction to the new restrictions passed down by the federal government, the racing industry has been allowed to continue, despite new social distancing laws. 
  • Animal Liberation Queensland is calling on the state premiers and Prime Minister to immediately ban all horse and greyhound racing to protect the public.

Animal rights organisation Animal Liberation Queensland is calling on the Australian Government to pass on the same restrictions to the racing industry, as the rest of the public.

Shockingly, horse and dog racing have been made exempt to the new restrictions which came into effect yesterday to enforce social distancing, and to help stop the spread of Coronavirus.

“We were shocked to hear that horse and dog racing seem to be considered ‘essential services’ and therefore, not affected by the new social distancing and travel restrictions. ” said Chay Neal, Executive Director of Animal Liberation Queensland

Staff at a typical race meeting include trainers, jockeys, vets, strappers, farriers, stewards, handlers, stable and kennel staff, all required to be in close proximity & many traveling between towns and suburbs.

“It’s impossible for horse and dog racing to continue without putting the wider community at additional risk. The Prime Minister has openly chastised the public for not adhering to social distancing recommendations, but continues to send mixed messages”, said Mr Neal.

“In addition to animal welfare and public health concerns, a continuation of racing and gambling may also put the most vulnerable members of the public in additional financial stress. Tens of thousands of people have just lost their jobs and are facing social isolation, depression and anxiety, and the racing industry plans to take advantage of that through online gambling."

Related: Racing animals is not 'essential' take action page