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4 ways to celebrate on Cup Day without hurting horses

4 ways to celebrate on Cup Day without hurting horses

Posted 22 October 2015   by Amy         Permalink | 3 Comments

Tags: Melbourne Cup, horse racing, horses, Hat Day

If you love horses, horse racing is nothing to celebrate. Sadly, a lot of people still don't know the shocking truth about horse racing ... what the industry refers to as 'wastage' -- the thousands of horses that are killed every single year simply because they aren't winning races and making money.

So I for one won't be celebrating the Melbourne Cup BUT there's plenty of other good reasons to celebrate -- It's a Tuesday? (Which means it's not a Monday.) The sun is shining? (Fingers crossed.) I get a day off while my mates in other states have to work? Yep. Yep. Yep! (Sorry guys). So here's my top tips for how to celebrate November 3rd minus the cruelty of horse racing ...

'Nup to the Cup' picnic

Our friends at Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses (CPR) are hosting a picnic at the park opposite Flemington Racecourse.

  • Cruelty-free BBQ ✔
  • Animal friends welcome ✔
  • Show racegoers that kindness is more fun than cruelty ✔

RSVP to the FB event

Host your own party

Let's be honest, the best bits of Cup Day are the fancy clothes and hats. (And the company of course!) So host a Hat Day party! Get your mates together, put a fake feather in your hair, clink glasses and if you're the gambling type, here's 10 bets you can make with your friends that you'll never lose :)


Hold a fundraiser for animals

A lot of workplaces and even schools have sweeps on race day or place bets in other ways. Why not convince your work or school mates to put their coin towards helping animals this year instead of supporting cruelty?

You could all pitch in a few dollars, draw a name out of a hat to win a box of chocolates or another prize, and then donate the rest to an animal charity of your choice.

Spread the word

It's pretty clear that there's heaps of ways to drop the cruelty of racing and still have an awesome day on Nov 3. So let your friends know too by sharing this silly hat cat on facey. Maybe with an invite to your cruelty-free party ;)

Melbourne-Cup-Silly-Hat-Cat-2014.jpg

pledge-horses.jpg

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96% of greyhounds are killed

96% of greyhounds are killed

Posted 30 September 2015   by Amy         Permalink | 6 Comments

Tags: greyhound racing, horse racing, Blue, greyhounds

Wow. Some shocking stats have come out of the NSW Greyhound industry -- an inquiry has found that anywhere between 13,000 and 17,000 greyhounds are killed every year! What's more, the Inquiry heard that as few as 4 in every 100 dogs born into the industry will make it beyond 2 months of age :(

Last night on The Project, a greyhound trainer admitted that to get to zero greyhound deaths is just not possible. We have a rescue greyhound who "works" in our office and it breaks my heart to think that he very well could have been one of the dogs in these awful statistics. When he broke his leg, his trainer was getting ready to "dispose" of him but he got a lucky save.

Blue05.jpg
Blue hard at work. More pics of Blue.

Blue is the sweetest, gentlest dog and many greyhound owners would say this is typical of his breed. So to me, anything more than zero is an unacceptable number of greyhound deaths. And the greyhound trainer was wrong to say it's not possible. It is possible. Just not while greyhound racing exists.

greyhounds-born-for-this.jpg

Two greyhound trainers told the NSW inquiry that 90% of trainers are involved in brutal 'live baiting' of possums, piglets, rabbits and other small animals. Not surprisingly, greyhound racing is facing calls to be shut down. But we don't have to wait for the laws to change to bring an end to greyhound racing. The most powerful thing you can do to help dogs and other animals is to sign the pledge to never bet on a greyhound race and to encourage your friends and family to do the same.

pledge-greyhounds.jpg

The trainer interviewed on The Project also said that just like with greyhound racing, the horse racing industry would never be able to guarantee that no horses will die.

facepalm.jpg
Horse racing trainers everywhere.

But it's true -- greyhounds aren't the only victims of Australia's racing industry. Many horses bred to race are killed. Here's what you need to know about horse racing ...


Sign the pledge to help end this.

One of the biggest racing events of the year -- the Melbourne cup -- is only a few short weeks away. If you'd like to take a stand against racing, you might like to consider one of these 5 ways to celebrate without cruelty.

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7 horrifying truths about greyhound racing

7 horrifying truths about greyhound racing

Posted 16 February 2015   by Amy         Permalink | 12 Comments

Tags: greyhounds, racing, greyhound racing, dogs, investigations

What's wrong with racing greyhounds? Dogs love to run, right?

Sure. But do they love to race? Read these 7 shocking truths about greyhound racing and decide for yourself ...

4--5 dogs die every week on the track

If a dog breaks a leg or injures himself on the track (which is quite common), sadly his time is pretty much up. Not because he can't get better ... because of course he can! But because he is unlikely to ever win another race and therefore becomes 'worthless' to his owner. 4--5 dogs every week are killed on the track, or behind closed doors after the race, simply because they are no use to their owners anymore.

Thousands of pups never make it to the track
(Image thanks to Friends of the Hound)

The dogs who die on the race track are only part of the story. Racing is a competitive 'sport' after all and only the fastest dogs even make it to the track. What happens to the ones who aren't fast enough? Around 8000 pups every year are deemed unlikely to win races and most of those are killed.

Dogs are not the only victims

I'm about to tell you something that the people involved would prefer was kept secret because it is so horrific that it would surely disgust everyone. Not to mention that it's illegal! Recent investigations by Animals Australia and Animal Liberation Queensland have revealed that 'live baiting' is a widespread and routine practice for a significant number of greyhound trainers.

'Live baiting' is where a defenseless live animal -- a rabbit, piglet or possum for example -- is tied to a mechanical lure and flung around a race track at a high speed, chased, and eventually mauled and killed by dogs. Dogs are provoked and encouraged to attack the animals. It is truly sickening that this is happening. The RSPCA is investigating and you can help end brutal live baiting by signing the petition.

Your tax dollars could be supporting this

State governments have spent millions of dollars on greyhound racing. If you, or your family, pay taxes then sadly your money could be part of the huge amount of tax payer money that's used to encourage more people to go to the races, to build new tracks or other infrastructure, and even to encourage the industry to breed more dogs. (Breeding incentives?! When thousands of dogs are being killed every year. That's bonkers!)

I know that, like me, you'll hate the thought of your hard-earned dollars going towards animal cruelty. You can help end this by writing to your State MP and demanding an end to government support of greyhound racing.

This is what life looks like for many racing greys for most of the day

Racing greyhounds can be kept in pens, crates or kennels for up to 23 hours a day :( I can't imagine any animal being happy living like that, can you?

Most countries have either never raced dogs or have banned greyhound racing
(Image thanks to Friends of the Hound)

Australia has a problem. A gambling problem. Did you know that NSW is second only to Las Vegas when it comes to having the most poker machines? This might seem off tangent but it just goes to show that some things that might seem normal to us are really not that normal. Heaps of other countries have carried on just fine without greyhound racing. And the suffering caused to animals is simply not worth it. C'mon Straya!

4 out of 5 retired greyhounds are not rehomed
(Image thanks to Friends of the Hound)

Greyhounds are naturally very sweet and gentle and kissable animals. I should know, I work with one. Sadly, although there are plenty of shelters dedicated to rehoming greyhounds, there are just too many discarded by the racing industry to find homes for them all and about 10,000 young and healthy and lovable dogs are killed every year.

If you can offer a home to an ex-racing greyhound you could consider adopting or fostering one from your local rescue group. If you want to know more about the true nature of greyhounds, you might like to meet the boy who would be my favourite if I chose favourites but I don't.

Meet Blue

Did these facts surprise you? You're not the only one. Many Australians simply do not know the truth about greyhound racing. You can help change that. Start a conversation with someone today, share this post or even write something of your own to help spread the word that greyhound racing is cruel and if you love animals then don't bet on 'the dogs'.

pledge-greyhounds.jpg

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15 reasons #slacklyf beats #tracklyf, according to a rescued racer

15 reasons #slacklyf beats #tracklyf, according to a rescued racer

Posted 13 February 2015   by Amy         Permalink | 1 Comment

Tags: greyhounds, racing, greyhound racing, dogs, adopt, Blue

This is a story all about how Blue's life got flipped upside down.

Blue01.png

LAWL.

Blue was a race-winning greyhound. Then he broke his leg. Luckier than most greyhounds in this sitch, he ended up with a work-mate of mine. And his life is well ... here's 15 reasons rescue life beats racing life if you're a greyhound. (I know Blue would agree with me but that dog snoozin'.)

1. This.
Blue02.jpg

2. This.
Blue03.jpg

3. This.
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4. This.
Blue05.jpg

5. This.
Blue13.jpg

6. This.
Blue08.jpg

7. Friends.
blue04.jpg
Friends who make funny faces together, stay together.

8. Tiny friends.
blue09.jpg

9. Big friends.
Blue16.jpg

10. Dribbly friends.
Blue14.jpg

11. Nap-time friends.
blue18.jpg

12. Hairy/huggy friends.
blue20.jpg

13. This.
blue17.jpg

14. This.
blue21.jpg

And last of all ...

15. Because Blue gets to live the #slacklyf for the rest of his life.

Most dogs born into the racing industry will be lucky to get to live out their full lives :( Blue is one of the lucky ones. But there's no reason that all greyhounds can't live full, happy lives and feel loved just like Blue.

You can help make that possible by taking a pledge (or two) for dogs today:

If you'd like to keep up to date with Blue's busy schedule of napping and hoarding, you can follow him on Instagram @bluethgrey

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5 ways to celebrate Hat Day (formerly known as Melbourne Cup)

5 ways to celebrate Hat Day (formerly known as Melbourne Cup)

Posted 15 October 2014   by Amy         Permalink | 3 Comments

Tags: Melbourne Cup, horse racing, horses, Hat Day

I'm a sucker for a dress up. No doubt about it. But when Melbourne Cup rolls around, and everyone's pulling out their fanciest hat and snazziest bow tie, I'm just over here like:

duck-no.gif

Because horse racing is nothing to celebrate. Sadly, a lot of people still don't know the shocking truth about horse racing ... what the industry refers to as 'wastage' ... and I refer to in words that I can't use in a blog. I'm talking about the thousands of horses that are killed every single year simply because they aren't winning races and making money. (Click here to expose the truth for yourself.)

So yeah, not getting dolled up for that BUT pretty much any other reason'll do -- It's a Tuesday? It's the 4th of November? I get a day off while my mates in other states have to work? Yep. Yep. Yep! (Sorry guys). So here's my top tips for how to celebrate November 4 minus the cruelty of horse racing ...

Eastment Street Derby

For all my fellow Melbournites, head down to Northcote for Eastment Street Derby -- "the race that stops a street!" -- an annual billy cart race on Cup Day. Check it:

Yes. Isaac Panaretos gives an awesomely accurate description of the day: "Some people race carts but most people drink long necks and stand in the way. Everyone else goes to the Melbourne Cup to take selfies for their tinder profiles." I know where I'd rather be ;)

[Pic thanks to Asher Floyd.]

'Nup to the Cup' picnic

Our friends at Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses (CPR) are hosting a picnic at the park opposite Flemington Racecourse.

Check out the FB event here.

Host your own party

Let's be honest, the best bits of Cup Day are the hats and the champagne. (Alcohol free of course!) So host a Hat Day party! Get your mates together, put a fake feather in your hair, clink glasses and if you're the gambling type, here's 10 bets you can make with your friends that you'll never lose :)


Hold a fundraiser for animals

A lot of workplaces and even schools have sweeps on race day or place bets in other ways. Why not convince your work or school mates to put their coin towards helping animals this year instead of supporting cruelty?

You could all pitch in a few dollars, draw a name out of a hat to win a box of chocolates or some other prize, and then donate the rest to a charity of your choice. A donation to the Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses would go directly to campaigns to help race horses.

If you're in Adelaide, you're in luck because someone's already organised a NOT the Melbourne Cup fundraising event :) All the deets here.

Spread the word

It's pretty clear that there's heaps of ways to drop the cruelty of racing and still have an awesome day on Nov 4. So let your friends know too by sharing this silly hat cat on facey. Maybe with an invite to your cruelty-free party ;)

Melbourne-Cup-Silly-Hat-Cat-2014.jpg

Have a happy Hat Day! Got another good idea for how to celebrate Nov 4 without cruelty? Leave us a comment :)

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Culture minus cruelty = awesome

Culture minus cruelty = awesome

Posted 14 October 2014   by Amy         Permalink | 2 Comments

Tags: Running of the bulls, bulls, sharks, shark finning, The Dorsal Effect, Oktoberfest, vegan, Vegan Oktoberfest, horse racing, horses, Hat Day

What happens when you take a cultural tradition and take out the animal cruelty? ... You make it waaaaay more awesome, obvs. Check out these 4 cool examples and see if you agree with me :)

Running of the balls

One small Spanish town has said balls to cruelty by recreating an old tradition minus the animal abuse. Many people are shocked to learn that the bulls who are forced to take part in the Running of the Bulls festival will in fact suffer a slow and painful death when they reach the bull ring at the end of the run. But never again in the town of Mataelpino. Check out how they're keeping the tradition alive without harming any animals :)

[Help put a stop to the Running of the Bulls.]

Vegan Oktoberfest

Zomg this year the first ever Vegan Oktoberfest took place in Santa Monica, Calilfornia. I am so going next year.

Vegan Oktoberfest has all the best bits of Oktoberfest -- beer, German culture and quirky outfits -- and none of the worst. In 2012, half a million chickens, 116 whole oxen and 115,000 pork sausages were served up in Munich's beer tents in just 3 weeks. That's a lot of animals lives :(

Thankfully, as Vegan Oktoberfest has shown, it's possible to have all the traditional fun with none of the cruelty! Yay :) Check out the highlights on the Vegan Oktoberfest facebook page and keep an eye out for me at the next one ;)

[Have a cruelty-free feast of your own tonight with one of these yum recipes.]

The Dorsal Effect

Ok this is really cool. The Dorsal Effect encourages more tourists to come to Lombok -- an island in Indonesia -- to give fishermen a way to make money without the cruelty of killing sharks for their fins. Check this out:

WARNING: The first 30 seconds of this is pretty graphic so skip past if you find it upsetting.

How's that for turning cruelty on it's head for a celebration of natural beauty and culture? What's more, locals can see that sharks are worth more to them alive than they are dead. Who's up for a trip to Lombok?

gumby-gif.gif

[You can do your bit to end shark finning by making the pledge to never eat shark fin soup.]

Hat Day

November 4 from now on and forever more will be known as Hat Day. Because hats are awesome! And cruelty is not. Find out how you can take part in Hat Day (formerly known as Melbourne Cup Day) and help protect horses from cruelty simply by having an awesome time :)

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Winning activist speaks up for horses

Winning activist speaks up for horses

Posted 5 February 2014   by Amy         Permalink | 2 Comments

Tags: Activist Challenge, contest, winner, horses, horse racing, activism

Seventeen year old Cianah (Unleashed member freehorses) has been a horse lover for as long as she can remember. When she discovered what happened to racehorses who aren't 'good enough' she had to make a stand. "I realised I couldn’t just sit back," says Cianah. "I want everyone to know what really happens." What she did next is why she is our latest Activist Challenge Winner. :)

If you're anything like me, the thought of speaking in front of a bunch of people in high school is enough to make you pull the doona up over your head and throw a sickie. Not Cianah! She recently got up in front of the WHOLE senior assembly on a mission to reveal the truth about the racing industry. "I realised that so many of my class mates and even family members liked horse racing," Cianah says, "so I became determined to do something about it."

Her speech included everything from excessive whipping to the premature training of young horses and concluded with the unnecessary slaughter of thousands of horses every year. :( You can see for yourself by watching the video below, but please be aware that the content is graphic:

The best news is that several students came up to Cianah after the speech and said that they never knew about the cruelty in the racing industry and pledged to never bet on horse races. (Click here to make the pledge yourself.)

Cianah is now looking to find some horse-loving, musically talented buddies to create a group dedicated to helping more horses. What a great idea!

Have you been getting up to something awesome to help animals? If so, we want to hear about it. Click here to read about our other Activist Challenge Winners and to enter for yourself. You could win an awesome prize pack like Cianah. :)

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Cianah and her horse Trillian.

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Relive 2012 with our Year in Review vid!

Relive 2012 with our Year in Review vid!

Posted 20 December 2012   by Anthony         Permalink | 8 Comments

Tags: video, Year in Review, Make it Possible, live exports, rodeo, racing

2012 has been HUGE! Forget Gangnam Style, One Direction and Diablo 3 - this year has been all about animal rights. See what I mean with this inspiring year in review.

Everything in that vid was possible because of your support. So if you shared a campaign on Facebook, went to a rally, wrote an email to a politician, tweeted at a celeb, made a personal pledge against cruelty, or did anything else to support our work - then THANK YOU!!

All we want for Christmas is a world where all animals are free from fear and suffering. It's a good thing our New Year's Resolution is to make that happen! I hope you'll be a part of it in 2013!

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Love Melbourne, Hate Melbourne Cup

Love Melbourne, Hate Melbourne Cup

Posted 5 November 2012   by Anthony         Permalink | 10 Comments

Tags: Melbourne Cup, horse racing, horses

Did you know that Victorians get a public holiday tomorrow, which no other states get?? They're all getting the day off because of the Melbourne Cup which is a pretty sucky reason to celebrate. Find out why public holidays rule, while horse racing is cruel. (Hey, that rhymes.)

As you're probably aware, the Melbourne Cup is Australia's biggest horse-race. It's called "the race that stops the nation", as apparently all Aussies love watching little men thrash horses in an effort to make them go faster. This awesome clip sums it up perfectly.

The even bigger problem with horse-racing though is what those in the business call "wastage". This is the delightful name given to the routine killing of thousands of race horses every year who aren't fast enough or have grown too old to win races. As soon as they aren't making money anymore, many racehorses are sold off cheaply and become pet meat, or even wind up on someone's plate in parts of Europe.

The tale of one such horse has been told by Unleashed member rhi_jenkins. Umm, you may want to have some tissues nearby, though.

So this Melbourne Cup day, when all the focus is on horses ... you can actually do something to help them. Join with hundreds of other young Aussies who have already pledged to never bet on cruelty.

You can also let your friends know why horse-racing bites by changing your Facebook profile pic for the day.

And if you're in Melbourne check out what actions the Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses has planned and get involved. Go on, you've got the day off anyway :D

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No One is Safe from Jumps Racing!

No One is Safe from Jumps Racing!

Posted 5 May 2011   by Jesse         Permalink | 4 Comments

Tags: Jumps racing, horse racing, take action, entertainment, horses, video

Ok, so I knew jumps racing was dangerous and often deadly for the horses, but I could hardly believe my eyes when I saw this footage from yesterday's 'Grand Annual Steeple' (more like Grand Disaster!) at Warrnambool Racing Carnival:

Seven people (including a toddler, an 80yr old woman and a 12yr old girl) were injured when Banna Strand jumped that 2m fence and plunged into the crowd.

With five horses already killed after falling during races across VIC and SA this year [Update 20/05/11: Another 2 horses have since died, bringing the total deaths to seven horses in seven weeks.], and now seven people injured, it's high time this recklessly dangerous and cruel sport was put down for good. Please take a moment today to click here and send a letter to the ministers of SA and VIC (the only 2 states foolish enough to allow this cruelty) calling for a ban on jumps racing (and yes, you can still send another letter, even if you have sent one before - maybe just change the letter content a little).

Please also take a moment to vote for a ban to jumps racing in these opinion polls:

  1. The Age (Age poll #1 closes TODAY)
  2. The Age (Age poll #2)
  3. Fox Sports
  4. WA Today
  5. The Brisbane Times
  6. The Herald Sun
  7. The Daily Telegraph
  8. The Advertiser
  9. The Weekly Times
  10. 7PM Project

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Jumps Racing Claims More Victims - Take Action!

Jumps Racing Claims More Victims - Take Action!

Posted 3 May 2011   by Jane         Permalink | 41 Comments

Tags: jumps racing, horse racing, take action, entertainment, horses, video, Warrnambool

This year's jumps racing season has barely started and five horses are already dead They're heading into week 6 now and the odds are stacked against the horses. Those racing in jumps races are at up to 20 time great risk of injury or death than horses in flat races.

The Warrnambool Racing Carnival started today. This 'spectacle' features a steeplechase that covers 5500 metres and includes 33 jumps. Can you imagine running that far with a person on your back and having to clear jumps at the same time? It's a tough ask, and tired, exhausted horses often fall suffering terrible injuries. No wonder there's already been one death today. Sadly, it wouldn't be a surprise to see the 'green screen' come out again in the next few days.

You can help stop this carnage! Here's a few simple ways how:

RIP Casa Boy
RIP Hammerblow
RIP Squire Rex
RIP Java Star
RIP Shine the Armour

[Update 20/05/11: Another 2 horses have since died, bringing the total deaths to seven horses in seven weeks.]

Let's hope they end this cruelty before this list gets any longer!

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Say 'Nup' to Melbourne Cup

Say 'Nup' to Melbourne Cup

Posted 1 November 2010   by Jesse         Permalink | 12 Comments

Tags: Melbourne Cup, horse racing, jumps racing, funny, video, The Onion

It's silly hat season again, with the Melbourne Cup set to take place tomorrow. I still find it hard to believe that the whole nation stops to watch horses being whipped so that they'll run as fast as they can in circles!

To show that not everyone thinks horse racing is something to celebrate (because it sure isn't if you're a horse), this is what I'll be posting to facebook tomorrow (Feel free to do the same!):

If people really want to lose their money and wake up with a hangover the least they could do is leave the horses out of it! I could rant all day about how cruel (and dull) horse racing is, but the satirical news site The Onion has already done a hilarious job of highlighting one of the many problems with the industry:

While I'm on the topic of funny videos and problems with horse racing, I've got one more thing to say. The sooner the horse racing industry gets rid of jumps racing and replaces it with this the better!

Right, you've heard what I think of Melbourne Cup. Now, what about you? Leave a comment.

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Camels don't need cups!

Camels don't need cups!

Posted 24 June 2010   by Jane         Permalink | 4 Comments

Tags: Racing, Camels, exotic animals, entertainment, rant

...they have humps to carry their drinks in, right?

Try telling that to the organisers of the annual Camel Cup held in July in Alice Springs, who bill a day of camel racing as a fun family event.

Update 04/07/11: Sadly, this silly race is on again in 2011, scheduled to run on Saturday 9th of July

I couldn't help but wonder after stumbling across this spectacle online, who would dream up such a camel crazy idea. I wasn't really surprised to learn that it was two blokes who'd had too much to drink at the pub one night! An intoxicated idea is very rarely a good one!

OK, so the thought of a camel race may be funny, but to actually see it, and the boofhead spectators laughing their heads off at the poor animals, is actually pretty sad.

It's bad enough that people race horses and greyhounds, but now they want to subject docile dromedaries to uncomfortable saddles and lashing whips as well?!

The ridiculous racing event, previously sponsored by Coles [Update 04/07/11: Coles now seem to have seen the light and no longer sponsor the race. Woo!] and XXXX Gold among others, also features dull dudes and dopey damsels vying for the titles of Mr and Miss Camel Cup. I'm not kidding! The guys have to walk like a camel and the girls have to display their knowledge of camel fun facts.

There's also Rickshaw Races, Kids Kamel Kapers and the "hilarious" Honeymoon Handicap ... clearly a plain camel race is not entertaining enough, they feel the need to rob the animals of every single ounce of dignity they have!

I bet if you asked a camel what he thought of The Cup, he'd happily spit in your face!

Oh and here's a fun fact. A camel's hump actually holds fat reserves, not water at all. But I'm sure Miss Camel Cup already knew that!

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If Horses Could Talk (And Shoot!?)

If Horses Could Talk (And Shoot!?)

Posted 26 May 2010   by Jane         Permalink | 16 Comments

Tags: Jumps racing, horse racing, take action, entertainment, horses, video, funny

Have you ever broken a bone? I have, I was 5 and I broke my collar bone at school - YEEEOUCH!! Lucky I'm not a horse, that's all I can say! Because if I was, I wouldn't be here to tell the tale...

We've all seen it far too often. Horse after horse breaking bones from falls in jumps races. These poor guys don't have the luxury of a loving family who'll nurse them back to health. But then, a loving family wouldn't force you to perform a death defying spectacle for their entertainment, now would they?

I wonder what was going through the mind of poor Sirrocean Storm (RIP), when he broke his hind leg in a jumps race at Warnambool, a few weeks ago. I wonder if he dreamt of doing something like this:

...you couldn't blame him if he did!

If you want to help stop horses from being needlessly injured and 'humanely euthanised' please write to the VIC and SA Racing Ministers and tell them to put an end to this unfair abuse of gentle animals.

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2 More Horses Die In Jumps Racing

2 More Horses Die In Jumps Racing

Posted 7 April 2010   by Jesse         Permalink | 10 Comments

Tags: jumps racing, horse racing, horses, Victoria, South Australia, entertainment, take action, rant

I hate to be the bringer of bad news, but another 2 horses were killed in a jumps race over the Easter break - this time in SA. And what was the Racing Minister's response? "Although it's extremely disappointing that we've had the loss that we've had, it doesn't mean that jumps racing should be banned as a result of one incident."

Gah! I don't even know where to begin...

But wait, I suppose he's got a point. We shouldn't just take this one incident into consideration when deciding the fate of jumps racing. We should probably also consider the fact that 11 horses died in jumps races across Victoria and South Australia last year.

Surely they should have worked it out by now: horse + jumps racing = bad idea. Is this so hard to get? You'd think the body count on the track would give it away. They've tried raising the jumps, lowering the jumps, hardening the jumps, softening the jumps. And still horses fall and die. So why not try banning the jumps? Something tells me that might work!

If you're as sick of seeing horses die for the sake of entertainment as I am, then please click here to send the Ministers for Racing in Vic and SA a letter to tell them to ban this cruel sport.

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Jumps Racing Put Down in Victoria!

Jumps Racing Put Down in Victoria!

Posted 27 November 2009   by Jesse         Permalink | 21 Comments

Tags: jumps racing, Victoria, Victory, horse racing, horses, Coalition for the Protection of Race Horses, activism, demonstration, entertainment, South Aust

Today marks the end of an 'era' in horse racing. Or should I say an error! Yes, definitely an error - forcing horses to jump over hurdles at full speed was always a bad idea. But the good news this morning is that Racing Victoria has announced they will cease to run jumps races at the end of the 2010 season! *sigh of relief*

This decision will spare horses the miserable fate of broken legs, broken necks, and other injuries from falls during jumps races. So after a brilliant campaign by the Coalition for the Protection of Race Horses, the racing industry has finally faced up to the fact that jumps racing is cruel (not that an industry that kills thousands of horses every year just for being too slow has much to be proud of!).

Hats off to the Coalition; hats off to all those who attended demonstrations; and hats off to you, if you're one of the nearly 8000 Animals Australia and Unleashed supporters who sent letters calling for an end to jumps racing!

If you've got a moment today, you might want to send Racing Victoria an email ([email protected]) congratulating them for getting rid of cruel jumps races. For Victoria to end jumps racing is a huge milestone! They were the largest of only 2 Aussie states that still permitted this cruel 'sport'. And so onward and upward! Now it's time for South Australia to step up and ditch jumps racing!

You might also like to let the Racing Minister for SA, Michael Wright ([email protected]), know that they're letting down the team and should ban jumps racing too!

And if you live in Adelaide, next Tuesday (1st December) is your chance to join a demonstration to put the heat on SA to end jumps racing! There will be a peaceful protest happening on the steps of Parliament House to coincide with the submission of a petition, signed by 4,000 SA residents, calling for an end to jumps racing. Here are the details:

Where: Steps of Parliament House North Terrace Adelaide
When: Tuesday December 1 from 12.30pm to 1.30pm
Wear: Smart/casual (preferably black/dark colour)

Hope you can make it along!

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Give Horses a Break

Give Horses a Break

Posted 11 September 2009   by Karen         Permalink | 20 Comments

Tags: horse racing, horses, whips, entertainment, rant

Jockeys are up in (short, little) arms at the moment because they are not alowed to whip their horses as often as they want to. Yep yesterday jockeys in VIC, NSW, QLD and WA walked off the job in protest of new rules that came in last month that restricted the number of times they can whip horses during races.

If you watch the sky news video, you'll see the Australian Jockeys Association complain that it's "unreasonable" to "burden" jockeys with having to count how many times they've hit their horses.

Uhmm ... Unreasonable!?

'Unreasonable' is what you call the standard practice of killing a horse who falls and breaks his leg on track because he is no longer considered 'profitable'.

'Unreasonable' is sending 20,000 horses to knackeries every year to be slaughtered. Their crime? They weren't fast enough :-(

'Unreasonable' is that studies show that race horses often suffer deep, bleeding gastric ulcers when forced to eat a concentrated and unnatural 'race' diet, and that one study showed that 90% of horses have blood in their lungs from over exertion.

'Unreasonable' is leaving a horse to spend up to 22 hours a day isolated in a stall, deprived of social contact and mental stimulation.

'Unreasonable' is allowing jockeys to whip horses at all, when whipping an animal off a racetrack would be illegal! (Do they think it hurts less, if they're in a race...?)

'Unreasonable' is a jumps racing trainer threatening to send his decapitated horse's head to the racing minister if the brutal sport was banned!

'Unreasonable' is expecting anyone to believe that horse racing is anything but a brutal and cut-throat industry... (warning: contains some graphic scenes).

Perhaps we can hope that those angry jockeys stay on strike ... it might be the quickest way to give these horses the break they deserve!

So whilst the jockeys are doing their bit, here are two quick ways you can help horses today:

  • Vote "Hell No!" in news.com.au's poll asking 'Should jockeys be allowed to whip more than three times in a row in the last 200m?'
  • Share this video with any race-going friends to show them the hidden reality behind the glamourous face of horse racing, and ask them not to bet on cruelty!

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Time to Put Down Jumps Racing
Posted By Ward

Time to Put Down Jumps Racing

Posted 26 August 2009   by         Permalink | 6 Comments

Tags: jumps racing, demo, victory, activism, Liv Nixon, entertainment, horses

Jumps racing is BIG news down here in Vic at the moment. It has been splashed across newspapers and evening news bulletins throughout the year, with some pro-jumps people threatening to cut off their horses' heads if the sport is banned! Talk about losing your cool, butchy.

Just a quick rundown on the issue:

  • 13 horses have already died in jumps racing this season, many more have fallen and been seriously injured.
  • Despite a review and yet more 'safety' measures, this jumps racing season has had the highest death rate on record.
  • 3 out of 4 horses that raced in 2008 have not reappeared in 2009 and are presumed dead.

So now for some good news: After writing to self-noted animal lover Livinia Nixon about owning a jumps horse, she has withdrawn her support of the controversial sport. The channel 9 weather presenter (who has also been the face of a host of programs such as Getaway and Temptation) relinquished her share in a jumps horse after I wrote a letter to her alerting her that the horse fell during a trial. Her withdrawal of support for this so-called 'sport' is yet more proof that jumps racing has no future and will send a strong message to those responsible. Good onya Liv!

So my message to you: Speak up! You just never know how much weight one letter can carry. Hell, you might even get a celebrity to withdraw their support from jumps racing ;)

And if you live in Vic and want to see jumps racing 'put down' as much as I do, then you will want to keep yourself free this Sunday (August 30th) for the biggest day in jumps racing for the whole year. It's the Grand National (ie. The 'Melbourne Cup' of jumps racing) and you can be sure we won't let this one go by quietly. A huge crowd of demonstrators will be outside the event to send a strong message that jumps racing must be banned - it's gonna be mammoth. If there is one rally you go to this year, this is it this will be a day you will look back to and tell your grandchildren about it! :P

Click here to get the full low down on the demo. And if you're not in Vic then please write to Minister Hulls to call on him to ban jumps racing.

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Mechanic Can't Fix Broken Down Horse

Mechanic Can't Fix Broken Down Horse

Posted 16 July 2009   by Jesse         Permalink | 5 Comments

Tags: jumps racing, horse racing, euthanasia, horses, sport, entertainment, language, advocacy

Another horse died yesterday in jumps racing in Victoria. You've got to wonder how much longer the Vic Minister for Racing, Rob Hulls, will let this go on. It doesn't take a brain surgeon to work out that no amount of 'safety measures' is going to make this 'sport' safe.

What really gets me (aside from the racing industry not seeming to care much about horses) is the language used by the industry and the media to talk about these tragedies. The most recent victim of jumps racing was All Square, who collapsed on the track mid-race and was killed - or as it was reported in the media:

"All Square faltered in the straight after the jumps, broke down and was destroyed after a vet examined it."

They may as well be talking about a car breaking down during the Grand Prix with that language! Sadly, we have a long way to go when animals are referred to as objects that 'break down' and are 'destroyed'.

I think that as animal advocates we each need to take every opportunity to do our little bit to transform our langauge to reflect the fact that animals are living, feeling creatures. Simply referring to animals as 'he' or 'she', instead of 'it' goes a long way to defining them as a someone, not a something.

But that's enough of my thoughts...

If you're outraged that the carnage of jumps racing has not been 'destroyed' for good, please write to Minister Rob Hulls and let him know how you feel: [email protected]

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Lame Gymnast Euthanised

Lame Gymnast Euthanised

Posted 20 June 2009   by Karen         Permalink | 8 Comments

Tags: jumps racing, horse racing, euthanasia, horses, sport, entertainment, video, funny, The Onion

Today the Onion brings us the touching story of Shawn, a champion gymnast who tragically fell while practicing on the uneven bars and had to be euthanised after breaking her knee.

Fortunately, in reality we don't actually shoot gymnasts in the back of the head if they happen to take a wrong step (you can imagine how many budding athletes would volunteer for the sport if we did..?). But not all professional athletes are so lucky.

Today at Moonee Valley, Whatsourgo became the sixth horse to be killed in jumps racing in Victoria this year after he fell and broke his leg on the last hurdle. Now, the jumps racing industry would like us to believe that 'owners love their horses' *cough* *bull$#!t* *cough*. Whether or not you believe them I think we need to hold them to their word and demand that they to do the only humane thing possible: put an end to jumps racing. Stat.

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