Wednesday, October 31, 2018

South Africa: NSPCA lashes Eastern Cape extreme horse race over ‘exploitation of animals’ - Full Article

By Matthew Savides - 31 October 2018

The National Council of SPCAs (NSPCA) said this week a 350km horse race through the Wild Coast region of the Eastern Cape “should not happen” over concerns that the animals were being exploited and that the vets employed to monitor the animals were not suitably qualified.

But the race’s organisers have hit back‚ not just denying the claims made in the NSPCA’s statement but also claiming that the statement’s contents were “very different” from comments made after the race.

In a statement on Monday‚ the NSPCA said that it had monitored the “Race the Wild Coast” endurance event‚ which took place from October 16. The race takes four to five days to complete.

“Four horses had to be disqualified due to injuries sustained during the race‚” said Arno de Klerk‚ the NSPCA’s special projects manager.

“The race organisers had employed six veterinarians‚ not all of whom had equine experience. There were concerns surrounding the conduct of some of the veterinarians which may have impacted on their ability to thoroughly examine the animals.

“The terrain was also inaccessible by vehicles and the only way to assess the conditions would be by helicopter. However‚ any lameness or welfare issues would be difficult to see from the air. This made instant intervention impossible and the only time that the horses could be properly assessed by anyone was at the various veterinary check stations...”

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