The Australian Greens party has proposed the closure of all horseracing venues, arguing that the sport is inhumane and incompatible with animal welfare.
Australia.- The Australian Greens part has called for a ban on all commercial horseracing. Australian Greens senator Mehreen Faruqi said the sport is “inhumane, deadly and incompatible with animal welfare” and claimed venues should be closed through a two-step transition plan.
The first step would involve the creation of a horse betting levy to fund the discontinuation of the commercial horseracing industry. The second step would involve the creation of a Horse Racing Transition Taskforce.
A 1 per cent horse betting levy on betting turnover would be used to fund the creation of the Horse Racing Transition Taskforce. The Greens calculate that the tax could generate nearly AU$494m in revenue in two years.
The Horse Racing Transition Taskforce would help those working in the industry find new employment and it would be in charge of turning horse racing venues into green spaces. It would also rehabilitate horses.
Mehren Faruqi told the Junkee: “Horse racing kills. No horse is safe at the Melbourne Cup or at any other race. It’s beyond time to shut this industry down. It can and must be done.”
Horseracing popularity down but betting turnover is rising
According to Gambling Research Australia, the number of Australians who gambled on horse races declined to 16.8 per cent last year, down from 22.4 per cent ten years earlier.
Before the Covid-19 pandemic, the number of spectators at the Melbourne Cup declined from 122,736 in 2003, to around 100,000 in 2010 and 81,408 in 2019. It’s speculated that the decrease in horse racing’s popularity may be related to questions about animal rights.
However, despite the decrease in popularity, turnover increased from AU$22.9bn in 2010-2011 to AU$26.9bn in 2018-2019.