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Horse Racing

Last updated 21 October 2017

Horse racing is a supposed entertainment and social event for people to attend or bet on. There are 14,000-17,000 horses bred every year for the single purpose of racing. Physical health problems are common due to their harsh training regime from a young age. Horses are known for their tense mental states, even beyond racing, if they are fortunate enough to be rescued.

Respiratory and lung injuries are very common due to racing, at times there is so much damage that blood is visible from their nostrils, having travelled all the way up from their lungs to their windpipe. Whips are used on their rumps to make the horses run fast. Whips serve as a catalyst for horses to run faster as they try to run away from the pain.

Among the racing events, there is one which requires horses to jump over hurdles while they race. During this event, a horse is 20 times more likely to get an injury. On-track injuries range from broken legs, to head and neck injuries. These can cause immediate death or require euthanasia on track, sheltered behind what is called a ‘green screen’. A green screen is a large plastic tarp that people use to block the view of the horse from the public as it is being killed. Once a horse is no longer capable of being financially viable to keep racing, or if the horse was not fast enough initially, they are most often killed at a facility called a ‘knackery’. A knackery is a slaughter house for horses where the meat is mostly used for meat products that are not specifically labelled, such as pet food.

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