The nationwide civil disobedience actions by animal rights activists on April 8 caused a media furore. Green Left Weekly’s Mary Merkenich spoke to Vegan Rising campaign director Kristin Leigh, who helped organised the action in Melbourne, about their protest tactics and aims.
Last month millions of Australians saw footage of sheep dying slowly from heat and thirst while being shipped on the Awassi Express from Fremantle in Western Australia to Doha, Qatar.
There are calls for the remainder of the Warrnambool jumps carnival to be called off after a horse was killed in the first jumps race on May 3.
Two other horses fell in the same race and 40% of horses did not finish their races.
The fatality comes after the death of Wheeler Fortune at the Oakbank carnival last month which prompted the SA Racing Minister Leon Bignell to label jumps racing “barbaric”.
The South Australian Racing Minister Leon Bignell has called on the state’s horseracing authority to ban jumps racing after five-year-old Wheeler Fortune was euthanised on April 15 after falling during the Somerled Hurdle race in Oakbank.
Bignell called on Thoroughbred Racing SA to act, labelling jumps racing “cruel and “barbaric”. But the controlling body said jumps racing was an “integral part” of the sport and would continue.
Harness Racing Australia (HRA) announced on December 10 it would ban the use of whips in both racing and training from September 1 next year. This will make Australia the first country in the world to implement a ban on whips.
HRA chairman Geoff Want said the decision was taken for animal welfare reasons. "There is compelling evidence these days that society will not tolerate continued cruelty towards animals," he said.
Want said he believed some in the industry would resist change but "people are going to have to adapt to change".