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Review of jump racing overdue.

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Senator Andrew Bartlett Australian Democrats’ Animal Welfare Spokesperson

28 May 2002 MEDIA RELEASE 02/267

Review of jump racing overdue The Australian Democrats have welcomed Racing Victoria’s decision to undertake a review of jump racing in Victoria.

Democrats’ Animal Welfare spokesperson, Senator Andrew Bartlett, said the decision to conduct the review was overdue, coming after many years of unnecessary horse deaths and protests from the RSPCA and the Democrats.

“I encourage South Australia and Tasmania - the only other Australian states to participate in this cruel form of racing - to undertake similar reviews or cease this form of racing immediately,” said Senator Bartlett.

“Steeple chasing or jump racing has long been known as one of the world’s cruellest and dangerous horse racing events. The United Kingdom’s Great National Steeple Chase held at Liverpool’s Aintree course last month saw eight horses fall and two die tragically.

“RSPCA figures show that Australia’s record is not much better. No genuine horse-lover could condone this sport. Its capacity for maiming and death is undeniable.

“On average one in every 140 starters are killed in jump racing events, but recently 23 horses died in one Victorian racing season.

“These figures are all the more shocking when compared with the figures of one horse killed for every 3500 starters in flat racing,” said Senator Bartlett.

“Australian punters are always looking to back a winner. I’d like to suggest that they back a fair go for horses by opposing jump racing,” concluded Senator Bartlett.

For further information contact: Senator Andrew Bartlett on 0418 743 789