Arts & Entertainment

Cruelty To Animals And Horses

By Renee Dallow

Greyhounds are elegant and graceful dogs. They make loyal, loving pets. On the track these beautiful animals can be turned into competitive killing machines when live bait is put before them. A poor little furry rabbit, tied to a cart and paraded before the half starved creatures, can really make them run. The rabbit, half out of it’s mind and shaking with uncontrollable fear, knows there is no escape.

Cruelty to animals is an unacceptable pastime perpetrated by humans who have little regard for creatures great and small.The same is true for horses. The Melbourne Cup, an Australian institution, prides itself on the speed as well as on the overall health and well being of the horses that race. There are trainers who feed their horses performance enhancing steroids just like some of those jaded athletes who end up disqualified when caught. These horses can bleed to death internally before reaching the finish line. Some jockeys still use whips on their horses leaving them with cuts, whelts and blisters. What happens to these horses when they grow old? They are put out to pasture or forced to mate over and over again to breed faster and better race horses.  

Those are the lucky ones. Seven horses in recent years have died on Melbourne Cup Day. These include Red Cadeaux, a runner up of three Melbourne Cup races in 2011, 2013 and 2014. In 2014 two horses Almira Rakti and Araldo died. The race was won by a horse, ironically named, Protectionist. As for Red Cadeaux, he broke a left forleg during the 2015 race and had to be euthanised.

Then there was Regal Monarch in 2016 that fell mid-race, crashing into the barriers and throwing off the jockey. Euthanised! In 2017 Anthony Van Dyke was lame and given a nerve block injection before the race to make him run. This virtually crippled him and he, of course, had to be euthanised. So bear these poor horses and, the many others that have died or become permanently disabled in mind, before you put your money down and support, ‘The Race That Stops A Nation.’  

Money, however, is not the only thing that drives perpetrators. There is medicine too.  There are trophy hunters who shoot lions for sport.

Tigers, elephants, rhinos, bears, deer and monkeys often feature in Eastern medicines too using their bile, blood, paws, tusks and  antlers. Bear Paw is also popular. Make-up companies too. These companies are too many to name and shame. You may be surprised to learn that insecticides too fall into this category. Your average household animal could be used for scientific research. Dogs, cats, mice, rabbits and many more. In fact rabbits seem to be used and abused for just about every industry that turns a blind eye to animal cruelty.

Isn’t, The Melbourne Cup, a culmination of all of these evils? It’s about fashion, make-up, trophies, alcohol, (a form of medicine ), and money, money, money. Think about it. Aren’t we all a little guilty?

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