Is Horse Racing Inhumane?

Discussion in 'Every Day Debating' started by jeremiah.l.burns, Apr 10, 2011.

?

Is Horse Racing Inhumane

  1. Yes, absolutely.

    50.0%
  2. No, certainly not.

    28.6%
  3. Undecided

    21.4%
  4. Other (please post)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. jeremiah.l.burns

    jeremiah.l.burns Callo

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    Following the Grand National yesterday in the UK, I'd like to know what people think of horse racing. Is it inhumane?

    Edit: With a view to the horses, not the riders.
    Edit: With a view to organized horse racing such as The Grand National, wherein injuries and deaths for both riders and horses are not uncommon.

    A biased viewpoint which I'm using to spark this debate:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1375210/Grand-National-2011-Ballabriggs-wins-day-drama-Aintree.html
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2011
  2. Overread

    Overread Wolfing it up! Staff Member

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    I'll admit I skim read it because its the DailyMail so already poor quality highly bias reportage and because its against horse racing (a typically upper class sport whilst the mail is -- well low class) I suspect the mail is being extra bias.

    I think in any competing sport there is the potential for injury - from minor through to the fatal and that it would be a mistake to end all sports because of the possibility of a fatality (just to even the odds you're far more likely to get killed in your car than on a sports field).

    When it comes to horse racing and the jumps I feel that there is a need for them to be monitored to ensure that they are not presenting an obstacle that will result in fatal injury; I also think that there is a will within the racing community to ensure that this is the case - that injuries are kept to a minimum (if for nothing else the owners and investors of the animals will want to ensure this considering the cost of top race horses and their potential worth should they win or score a high average).

    However I will say that I feel there is an inhuman side when it comes to horses that are injured during the races where there seems to be more a move toward dumping the animal than curing - mostly because of the fact that at that point the horse investment is no longer viable for the investors (broken bones take a long time to heal under controlled conditions and even then the horse may never return to full running standard). In this respect horse racing is a little similar to many other animal sports in that once the animal has no further use it is either dumped or destroyed and, for me, this is where I take opposition. In my mind there should be provision within the sport to ensure that animals that have passed their prime or come to serious injury should be cared for - I mean heck the horse only demand grass, oats and a few other little niceties in life compared to the highflying life of the investors ;).
    So it is not the act of the sport that I oppose it is what happens after the show is over - when the losers an injured are taken out. Horse racing has one bonus in that a lot of ex-racing horses are sold on to other owners (in stark contrast to dog racing where many are destroyed or abandoned instead).


    I'll end this by saying that I'm most certainly not that involved in the horse world and that as such my view is very limited on the actual fact of the matter (probably just as limited as the mail writer ;)). Though I expect to see Pyro in here with a more balanced and informed viewpoint
     
  3. Kakashi

    Kakashi The Fighters Guide House Member

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    I voted yes, absolutely.

    Which isn't to say horse RIDING is, but racing is. Which isn't to say that there isn't humane horse riding but a lot of it is not... it all really depends :p
    sorry i can't make up my mind :D
     
  4. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    That



    In the end, I think the debate is askew. I would admit that there is a large rate of injury during these military events; the question is whether that is a problem.

    Butr first, one should argue that the jockey takes the same risk of injury and possibly even death. The original poster didn't state whether inhumane involved the horse or the jockey; but usually it's the horse we feel empathy with. The reasoning behind this, is that we know (or assume) that the jockey had a choice.

    So, basically, the horse doesn't have a choice. The horse isn't asked whether he would have wanted a go at the grand national. I think that reasoning is flawed. After all - if the horse would be smart enough to know what he's in for, he wouldn't do it (right?). Still, the horse is trained to run militaries and keeps up with that. At no point did the horse stand ground and make off without its rider - something a horse would be easily able to do. So either it's smart enough to make consent about participation. Or, alternatively, is too stupid to have a mind of it's own. After all, it's hard to feel empathy for a creature like such.

    Either case, I couldn't consider these races inhumane.

    In the end, unlike most people, I think it's not the horses fault. I think the human ability for empathy has overshot its goal. Maybe it's fair to say that these races are inhumane to people around us, or society, who are able to feel the pain or suffering of the horse by proxy. But I don't think the original poster meant to have this discussion go there...
     
  5. jeremiah.l.burns

    jeremiah.l.burns Callo

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    Haha, hence the caveat prior to the link.

    Playing devil's advocate only (as I've not yet voted myself), one could easily argue that in most other sports, all participants are willing with full knowledge of the danger. With horses, this is not so.

    Hahaha! I suppose you might have voted "undecided" instead...?
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2011
  6. Overread

    Overread Wolfing it up! Staff Member

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    Aye true, however we are already debating if the act of riding horses in a competing event is in itself inhumane - that assumes that we've already accepted that the act of ownership and riding are accepted practices - because in those as well the horse has no option to make a choice (at least in a direct manner - it can of course throw you if it decides to ;)).

    I think the thing is there is BIG money in horse racing in itself and this (as well as in other areas) along with the prestige of winning as well as stud and breeding rights is all something the trainers and owners desire. This has been seen in horses, dogs, cats - in pretty much everything - to be a perfectly ok event. However that is before we take things into the extreme. Need I remind people of the big fiasco with Crufts being shut down for one year recently to re-evaluate their criteria after horrific breeding practices were "revealed" to the public (ie dogs with "perfect" comformation to the standards but unable to stand without pain or great difficulty etc..).

    In this I think is where we take animals far further than we'd ever push a person (at least in accepted western society) - we push them through breeding and in the ring/race to conform or compete to a standard - and that standard in itself can be the danger.


    Again I think that the event in itself - the idea of racing horses - is not a bad thing - heck many of the horses breed to such love to race and run. However its when the extreme comes into play that the damage can be caused. It's also where the abandonment of failed creatures is a failure of the system - animals that might net a person millions are quickly dropped to the knackers yard without care or concern - though one can argue that this is just another part of their service to humanity I feel that its a weak argument given by those who are thinking of greed over other more moral concerns as to the animals well-being.
     
  7. Druid of Lûhn

    Druid of Lûhn The Little Lamb.

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    1rst to vote undecided!

    Ok, I think that it isn't inhumane, if we consider that any type of horse-riding is normal. However, I do believe that it can be dangerous for the horses, yet it has been proved that horses like those races without obstacles, as even without a jockey, they still continue to beat the other horses.
    Undecided
     
  8. WildPony

    WildPony New Member

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    Well, if it was only allowing the horses to race under natural conditions it would b be okay. The problem is how the horses get treated. A friend of mine bought a horse just off the race course, a week later it died. The vet said that when the horses race they are given high dosages of steroids to up their performance, when this is taken away their systems stop working properly and slowly shut down. The horses are also often seen as money machines rather than animals who need love. I tried buying a horse off the race track... it was so skittish near people... you have to wonder if it was abused. Well, I'm against horse racing in its modern form.
     
  9. Druid of Lûhn

    Druid of Lûhn The Little Lamb.

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    Ah, now I didn't know that. That is horrible.
     
  10. Overread

    Overread Wolfing it up! Staff Member

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    I thought the use of steroids was against the competition rules? Not that I don't believe such things will never go on in the background (what with all the money involved) but I thought it at least was under some level of control?

    I guess then this thread is heading the way of not having horse racing as inhumane but commercial horse racing as being inhumane.
     
  11. Crouton

    Crouton New Member

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    I think the industry is inhumane and corrupt. Horse racing itself can be a practice which isn't too bad for the horses. Flats racing doesn't cause much physical damage to the horse. But things like jumps racing is just ridiculous. So many horses have to be put down on the track at jumps races that it's just shocking we let it keep going. So many fall and break their legs and for what, our entertainment? Many horses are pushed to their limits, even in flats. Also the industry can just be sad. There's a lot of corruption there.
     
  12. Kally

    Kally Driving my own destiny.

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    I don't think it's inhumane - yes, I do think it's a terrible and tragic thing when the horses do die, but I don't think it's inhumane. At the end of the day, it's an accident, riders and handlers wouldn't let their horses run if they didn't think they would be able to clear the jumps - it's just an unfortunate circumstance at the time if they don't.

    I'm with the mind set of if the horse genuinely did not want to go over the jump - it's not going to. They're not stupid animals. As well as this, I feel it's a quite prejudice sport (Idk if thats the right word). I feel that sports like Cross Country should get more attention, because the things the horses do in that is wild, and although accidents there don't result in on-the-spot fatal deaths like so often on the GN, a lot of horses suffer long-term damages that eventually lead to them being put down.

    IMO Cross Country is a lot worse than the Grand National. I don't like either, but I don't think they're inhumane at all.
     
  13. Reece56364

    Reece56364 Guest

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    ^^ Agreed.

    I wouldnt say its inhumane, but its not as pleasant as playing a spot of croquet. I mean, most of the horses I've ridden and worked with love to race of their own accord, which is all well and good. I have to say however, that i dont like (Pardon my immaturity here) how they get whipped so much. If the horse cant race without being beaten with a stick then it shouldnt be racing. I wouldnt say its inhumane though, and do enjoy watching it for the best part.
     
  14. Crouton

    Crouton New Member

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    People often say that if a horse genuinely didn't want to jump then it wouldn't. But do you honestly think that's the case? With all the whips, money, training etc. These horses are pushed to their limits and beyond everyday. Especially when it comes down to the lower ranking levels of jumps racing. They are more indisposable and are usually horses who couldn't make it as flats races. They are pushed well beyond their limits and made to jump things that they really shouldn't, and they don't have a choice. I've heard many stories of people who have adopted ex-racehorses once they retire from the tracks. These horses have often been so abused that they are violent towards humans and have been so over raced that many of them can hardly even walk by the end. There's also a large majority who don't make it and just get turned into dog food.

    To me I also have to question the ethical practice of any "sport" that involves animals. How can it be considered a sport when the animals don't know that they are playing, were never given a choice and never agreed to participate.

    If horses really did have rights in this sport, and people were less concerned just about money and nothing else then I doubt we would be seeing as much of this:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    etc
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2012
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