Animal rights activists have announced that they will be picketing at the entrance of the Durban July horseracing event this coming Saturday.
As reported by Times Live, Ban Animal Trading South Africa (BATSA) has made its intentions clear — it will boycott against the alleged abuse of the horses.
BATSA is a non-profit organisation that fights for the rights of animals. The Gauteng-based organisation specialises in “local investigations into various forms of animal abuse and neglect.”
Saihashna Rajkumar from BATSA noted that while the aim of the process is not to halt the event from taking place, it is hoped that the thousands of people that attend Durban July will understand the trauma the horses had to go through to put on the show they paid to see.
“The aim of our protest against the Durban July this year is to raise peaceful awareness about the horrific realities of the horseracing and betting industry in South Africa. We are not going to bring the event to a halt at all, as we believe in creating awareness and encouraging people to make compassionate choices,” she said.
Rajkumar revealed that behind the veil of the marquee event, the horses are subjected to the worst forms of ill-treatment and malnourishment.
“These include unethical training methods and illegal stimulants, and horrific injuries and deaths on the course. Racehorses’ lives are tragic from beginning to end,” she added.
The annual event will return for the 123rd time at the Greyville Racecourse, in Durban. As part of its tradition, the event occurs every year on the first Saturday of July.
This time around, this day has fallen on 6 July. The entire local entertainment community is expected to huddle in the confines of this venue draped in varying expressions of the theme: Stars of Africa