Protesters who say the sport of horse racing is fundamentally cruel are protesting Boxing Day Races in New Zealand and Australia and urging racegoers to stop supporting the events.
The Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses (CPR) are targeting both participants and the industry saying there needs to be more done to protect horses. The industry should implement retirement plans for the horses it uses in the gaming sport where observers bet on which horse will win.
The Ellerslie race in Auckland draws in thousands of observers and participants every year and is an annual event for both men and women to show off their elaborate fashion wear.
This year, protesters will be at the race with placards saying the sport kills horses. Aya McKenzie said that the protest won’t be loud but the activists want to make sure participants know the toll horse racing takes on the animals.
“Animals are not our tool. They are not here for us to be exploited and to be used for moneymaking and entertainment.”
Participants won’t be approached and the protesters won’t be chanting but McKenzie said the coalition members want to be available if anyone wants to talk to them. Their main purpose is to raise awareness.
The group is urging people to avoid the races and find other cruelty-free activities for the holidays.
A horse, The Cliffsofmoher, had to be euthanized on the racetrack earlier this year after Melbourne Cup entrance was injured with a fractured shoulder.