Stop Using Whips in Horse Races

Target: Peter McGauran, Chief Executive of the Australian Racing Board

Goal: Ban the use of whips in horse racing

Activists from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) in Australia are calling for an end to the use of horse whips in thoroughbred racing. Although specific rules exist – termed the International Agreement on Breeding, Racing and Wagering – intended to regulate the use of horse whips in races, officials have thus far been unable to regulate the rules properly. For example, research shows that three-fourths of whip strikes are made on race horses’ flanks, a part of the body that is protected from whipping by the official rules.

As a result of poor oversight, horse whipping has become an excessive practice, and one that causes great pain to racing horses, all in an effort to force the animals to run faster. Paradoxically, research shows that whipping a horse does not actually make it run faster. Contrary to popular belief, horse whipping does not actually increase a horse’s chance of placing in a race. Animal rights advocates are asking officials to end horse whipping altogether.

Based on research by Dr. Paul McGreevy from the University of Sydney, even if the current whipping rules were properly enforced, they are not adequate to protect the horses in question. Experts insist that the rules be overhauled if horse whipping is to continue at all. Help the RSPCA by asking the Australian Racing Board to ban whips in horse racing.


Dear Mr. McGauran,

The use of whips in Australian horse racing is not properly regulated, and it should be banned. Although rules exist to protect horses from excessive whipping, as dictated in the International Agreement on Breeding, Racing and Wagering, they are not strict enough to prevent harm and injury to the animals. Even if the rules were stricter, they are poorly regulated by officials. Experts have found that 75% of whip marks on racing horses are on the animals’ flanks, an illegal location to whip a horse.

Moreover, research shows that whipping a race horse does not improve the animal’s chance of placing or showing in a race. If science shows that whipping does not make the horses run faster, then animal rights activists wonder what purpose the whip serves. I ask that you ban horse whipping in Australian races henceforth.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Jason Mrachina via Flickr

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