Victoria bans Jump Racing

Posted by World

Steeplechase and hurdle racing in the Australian state of Victoria will be abolished in 2010, prompted by the deaths of 20 horses in two years. The decision follows a comprehensive review of the sport and has been welcomed by animal welfare groups. However, members of the racing industry have reacted with anger, calling it unbelievable and appalling. Racing's governing body in Victoria had conceded that the sport was in decline because of mounting safety concerns.

Animal rights campaigners have described racing over hurdles and fences as not only shameful and barbaric but morally wrong. An official review of the industry last year recommended a raft of new safety measures, all of which were adopted by authorities in Victoria. Despite the changes, the fatalities have continued, with eight horses dying in races this season. The deaths prompted an urgent investigation, which has resulted in the banning of the sport.


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