The National Council opposes animal racing in any form.
The sport of animal racing is highly lucrative to human patrons and is often commercialised for financial gain but extremely detrimental to the welfare of animals. On the day of the racing event, animals may appear to be in pristine conditions. However, it is what happens before and after these races and how their welfare is compromised that is most concerning.
Dogs, pigeons, and horses are just some of the animals used for competitive racing. These athletes do not get luxury time off as they are sometimes pushed to their extreme to perform to their masters’ desires. When not training they are mostly confined, and their freedom and expression is limited. They are not able to enjoy the social structures and express behaviours normal to their species. Housing facilities are often substandard, and no proper care is provided in various aspects of animal husbandry.
Training methods are not necessarily humane and are a cause for grave concern. The use of performance enhancing drugs, physically harmful techniques and the use of live bait are common occurrences. Animals used for racing have a relatively short competitive lifespan as they are so prone to injuries. While drugs may be used to mask injuries to force the animals to compete for as long as possible, eventually they are no longer effective, and animals are disposed of.